In October 2020 Cambridge for Europe members took part in several small socially-distanced protests. These were part of national campaigns led by different organisations, but shared a common theme of seeking a future for the UK that protects our economy while also safeguarding high standards, human rights and the NHS.
Save British Farming – 2nd October 2020
On Friday 2nd October Cambridge for Europe members joined other supporters of the Save British Farming campaign to have their picture taken with a banner and placards in outside Ely Cathedral, and outside the constituency office of South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne.
This protest was part of a campaign to persuade Anthony Browne MP, and South-East Cambridgeshire MP Lucy Frazer, to back two amendments to the Agriculture Bill that impose a requirement for food imports to meet or exceed domestic standards, and strengthen the role of the newly-created Trade and Agriculture Commission.
Cambridge and Ely say #No2NoDeal – 8 October 2020
Cambridge for Europe members held socially distanced protests in Cambridge and Ely (with Ely for Europe members) on Thursday 8 October, as part of the nationwide #No2NoDeal virtual action day organised by the European Movement, to tell MPs that failing to agree a trade deal with the UK would be disastrous for the UK.
Members and supporters of Cambridge for Europe also shared short videos on social media saying why they believe a good trade deal with the EU is vital to the UK’s interests.
The protests were reported by the Ely Standard and Cambridge Independent, and a few days later Cambridge for Europe Chair Paul Browne was invited by the Cambridge News to comment on Boris Johnson’s statement that the UK should prepare for a no-deal (a.k.a. Australia minus) Brexit at the end of this year.
Protest against the US trade deal – 24 October 2020
On Saturday 4 October, Cambridge for Europe chair Paul Browne spoke at a socially-distanced protest against the US trade deal organised by Global Justice Now Youth Cambridge, and supported by a coalition of local campaign groups.
Several other members of Cambridge for Europe also attended the rally, which was part of a national day of action.
Other speakers in Cambridge included:
- Cameron Holloway – Global Justice Now Youth Cambridge
- Dan Greef – Labour party candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the last three elections
- Jamie Dalzell – Liberal Democrat Cambridge City Councillor
- Jocelynne Scutt – barrister and human rights lawyer, as well as a former Cambridge City Councillor
- Anthony Davison – 5th generation farmer and founder of BigBarn.
- Ursula Stubbings – Cambridge Green Party
- Aidan Baker – Global Justice Now Cambridge
Paul’s speech focused on the fork in the road the UK now faces. One path leads to a trade deal with Trump’s USA, lower animal welfare, environmental and food standards, lower workers rights and increased access to the NHS for US healthcare firms. The other path leads to a trade teal with the EU that through level playing field commitments will help secure high food and environmental standards, protect workers rights, and help the NHS.
Which path we end up on depends to a significant degree on who wins the US Presidential election on November 3rd 2020, but we should not forget the powerful coalition that has grown against a damaging US trade deal. This coalition unites a wide array of business and campaigning organisations – from the NFU to the RSPCA to Which? – and is backed by a very large majority of the UK population, and if it holds firm it can stop a damaging US trade deal.
We urge you to keep writing to your MP, especially if they are a Conservative MP, and keep telling them that the UK must agree a trade deal with the EU to safeguard our businesses and security, and build a close relationship with our biggest market and nearest neighbours. Our MPs must also ensure that any trade deals the UK makes are not just good for the economy, but also protect our food and environmental standards, protect our worker’s rights, and protect the NHS!