Reading: Brexit are you being served featuring Andrew Adonis

Andrew Adonis holding up copy of his book in front of Union Jack flag

Yesterday, Berkshire for Europe organised an event at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading. The event was titled Brexit: Are you being Served and speakers were Former Labour Party government minister Andrew Adonis, Axel Antoni from The 3 Million (a group for non-British EU citizens in the UK) and Tahir Maher, a Liberal Democrat local councillor.

Slough for Europe was live tweeting at the event. the thread (with some typos corrected) is below:

I'll be live tweeting this evening from the @BerkshireforEU event Brexit: Are you being served. The event features @antoni_UK from @The3Million and @Andrew_Adonis
Follow it in the replies to this message.

The hashtag for the event is: #AdonisReading


.@antoni_UK is up first.
Talking about the lies made by the leave campaign about the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

After May first said that rights were not guaranteed, @The3Million was formed by some concerned EU citizens in Bristol to fight the corner of the EU citizens in the UK.

2 years later, details are still awaited on what the applications for settled status will actually look like.

Theresa May's red lines were draw without the government having any other details of what sort of brexiters they really wanted.
These lines bind her more than any amendments to build now might do.

Future governments could easily revise our reinterpret these rights of EU citizens.

The government was due to issue responses to many queries on the implementation of citizens rights this week.
It is now delayed until just before parliament breaks for the summer recess.

If we end up with a no deal brexit, everything that we do far believe has been agreed will be invalid.

Every movement starts small. Many activists didn't anticipate how far this would go.

Members of @The3Million on their forum trust the organisation now, give them more information to sort them and help their organisation to grow.


"Combined people power can and will make a difference.
With common goals, anything is possible"


.@tahir786maher from the @LibDems is up next

In October this year, the government will have to resolve the final details of the deals at the EU summit.
Issues too cover:
Citizens rights
Irish border

The government's solution to the Irish border issue is technology is technology, but this is not realistic in a sensible timescale.

The final issue is one of trade.
Companies such as Jaguar and Rolls Royce are now leaving the country because of the risk.

Gives an example of buying a house.
If the survey is fine, then everything is great. But if it is bad, then you should rethink the purchase.

@The3Million are in contact with all the major UK political parties.
@UKLabour and @LibDems have said they would ringent citizens rights.
No deal yet from @Conservatives though.

Nobody can really tell the cost of Brexit - it depends on the duration of impact assessed, how long it takes to get new trade deals to build our position back to where we currently are.


Journalist question:
Lots of people don't really understand how the EU works?
It is not some EU superstate.
People have bought into years of lies in the media and blaming issues in the EU.
What can we do to get past this - do we have to invent our own lies?

The difference now is that newspapers no longer dominate information.
People can write into them more easily, they follow blogs and social media.
The dynamic has now shifted.

Comment from a motivational speaker:
The whole process so far is too rational.
People by something more of it rhymes.
People respond to colours differently.

People join in, they emotionally make a decision, then they justify it later with nonsense.
Being rational does not solve this.

There is an issue of leaving to the choir.
Who you address and how you address them.
Don't aim for the hard core at each end - aim for the 70% in the middle ground who can be swayed by emotion.


.@Andrew_Adonis has finally arrived

.@Andrew_Adonis is up now.
He has just brought out a book called Saving Britain.
All profits go to support teenagers from disadvantaged families who want to work in Europe.

People have to understand how high the stakes are with leaving Europe.
He believes the will be an @peoplesvote_uk early next year. The book is to prepare people's mindset for this.

In an ideal world, we should be debating how we can use things like Cross Rail to remove inequality in Britain's towns, not spending our time trying to thwart Brexit

There is an issue with @jeremycorbyn and Europe.
If we exit because @UKLabour is complicit, the next generation of Labour politicians will be working tirelessly to take the UK back into the EU.

The @Conservatives party will be torn apart by brexiters Brexit.
If it happens, we will be spending 15 years getting back to 1st base.

7 of 10 poorest regions in Northern Europe are in Britain.
Yet the wealthiest (London) is too.
Inequality drove Brexiters.

The British people didn't reach the wrong decision.
They were given the wrong information.
The leadership of the original campaign was weak from both David Cameron and @jeremycorbyn

There is no £350m.
We are paying money to leave.
During the transition period, we do everything the EU due at present, except without any say.

Trade Agreements are incredibly complex.
EU to South Korea agreement has quadrupled UK sales of cars to South Korea since it came in.

The Customs Arrangement™ may well be almost identical to the current customs union, but it will take time to agree.

Backstop arrangement is very important as arrangements are unlikely to be completed for a long time.
Brexiters want a time limit, but no responsible government should agree to this.

Without a Backstop, the GFA could be breached. It has to exist until a new compatible deal is agreed.

The likely end of the Backstop is that we end up running the EU or end up joining the EFTA.
As a big country though, this is not stable for us in the way it is for Norway or Switzerland.

We started off as a member of the European trade area, but ended up joining the EEC to have a say in the rules originally and the same will happen again.

.@Andrew_Adonis offered to switch his seat in the HoL with Farage in exchange for his German passport.
Lots of people would like to retain EU passports, but don't have this opportunity.

.@Andrew_Adonis suggests that when Emmanuel Macron liens The UK the Bayeux tapestry, perhaps they would take @Jacob_Rees_Mogg as a relic from Britain's history in exchange.

Farage, Rees-Mogg etc don't want a people's vote or a meaningful vote in parliament.
They want to sit down debate.

There is a myth that we were bamboozled into joining the EU, but the Common Market was never just about trade. It was to ensure conflicts like the 1st and 2nd world wars never happened again.

It was about building relationships and interdependence.
We can't take this for granted.
The time of the EU is the longest period in European history with no wars between it's member countries.

We have to work towards a con future. We can still have differences and nobody is trying to suppress traditions. But we must ensure that events such as those of WW1 & 2 never happen again.

The Treaty of Paris creating the European Coal and Steel Community opens by taking about world peace, the contributions of Europe to civilisation, prioritising achievements, solidarity, setting aside rivalries. To lay foundations for a shared destiny.

Time for questions now:
Based on events of past week, why should the EU trust our government and why should we trust them ourselves bit too abuse the new rights that they are giving to themselves.

Lord Hailsham has already tabled the reintroduction of Dominic Grieve's amendment in full in the HoL on Monday.

If we withdraw A50 then we stay. This is manifestly the best thing to do.

It's there enough transparency about the BBC's coverage of Brexit.
Experience of @The3Million suggests that it is not.
BBC has not given both sides of the argument very well.

Nigel Farage has been on #bbcqt 32 times.
Why should the ex ex leader of a part that got less that 2% in last local elections get such coverage when far larger groups don't.
If you are moderate and sensible you are seen as a pushover.

Is the government doing enough to defend British scientific research and the industries that friend on it in the Thames Valley.
Because of the uncertainty, there are currently few UK applications for research grants.

Nobody is quite sure why the government thinks that we need to leave Euratom.
Scientists coming to this country are the most mobile country and will move somewhere else if the conditions are right.

It is understandable why some people made a protest vote because they felt left behind.
If there is a people's vote, do we have a vision of how we can reach these groups and what we can offer communities in the Midlands and North.

Currently 50% of investment in transport and infrastructure is in London and the South East. Far more must be spent in other parts of the country.

Parts of the country outside the South East don't have the connection to London and so feel distant from Westminster.

Scotland and Wales don't feel so alienated, because the devolution leaves them feeling that the decisions affecting you are being made more locally.

We need massive devolution within England. Having much bigger powers to local authorities throughout the country.
The HoL should be abolished and a new your house should represent the region's of the UK and meet outside London.

London is one of the most centralised capitals in the EU outside Malta.
More needs to be done to decentralise the country.

To remove inequality after German reunification took investment of £2 trillion and many years.
The amount talked about for things such as the Northern Powerhouse is a start, but not enough.

Iceland took 7 years to get a trade deal with China and they only export fish. How long will it take us to get the far more complex one promised by the Brexiters before the referendum.

The supporters of these events are the important ones.
There are various gross that work together. The more support we show them, the more they can achieve.
Without supporters, these gross l groups are nothing.

You can also view the entirety of Andrew Adonis's speech below:

And Axel Antoni:


If you want to find out more about similar events happening elsewhere in Berkshire, make sure you add your details to Berkshire for Europe's mailing list.