Best for Britain

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  • Jun.08.2018: Best for Britain recruits MPs to back second Brexit referendum. Around 40 MPs appear willing to sign up to remain campaign group’s proposed amendment. Best for Britain has lined up a group of MPs to put down an amendment in parliament this autumn calling for a second referendum on the country’s membership of the EU once Theresa May has obtained a final exit deal. The pro-remain campaign group, which has raised £2.3m and is partly backed by George Soros, unveiled a timetable at the launch of its manifesto, designed to avoid the risk that “the entire establishment sleepwalks the country over the Brexit finish line in March 2019”. It is understood that about 40 MPs have indicated they are willing to sign up to an appropriately worded amendment, which would be set against whatever legislation May introduces to give the go-ahead for the final deal the govt brings back from its Brussels negotiations. Best for Britain argues in its manifesto that both sides of the Brexit debate should welcome a second poll in less than 3 years to finally settle the question of the UK’s membership of the EU, and that the issue was diverting time and energy from other political concerns. A referendum could theoretically be held in early 2019, although it would require an act of parliament, and Best for Britain has said it believes the EU-27 may be willing to delay the 29 March 2019 exit date to ensure any final vote was held after the winter, when British elections are rarely held. Best for Britain intends to campaign in around 70 key marginal seats, trying to persuade both Conservative and Labour MPs to support a second referendum. It will spend £500,000 on billboards and newspaper advertising in areas such as Stoke, Carlisle, and towns and cities in the east Midlands. The group’s chief executive, Eloise Todd, said the group believed people were changing their minds, and that it and hoped in particular to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to back a second referendum. Soros was not present at the launch, but there were questions about the role of a foreign national in UK politics. Mark Malloch-Brown, the chair of Best for Britain, said money from Soros foundations only made up 20% of the funds raised this year. Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian.
  • Jun.01.2018: Roadmap to avoid Brexit to be sent to MPs and peers. MPs and peers will be sent a roadmap next week detailing how they could stop Brexit by the George Soros-backed Best for Britain group. The group will publish a timetable as part of its “campaign manifesto” at a launch event on 8 June saying that MPs need to introduce amendments calling for a second referendum on the final deal secured by Theresa May in which remaining in the European Union is an option on the ballot paper. The pressure group says the EU would allow the UK to have a second referendum as late as February or March. Eloise Todd, chief executive of Best for Britain, said a second referendum was necessary to ultimately settle the question of whether the UK should leave the EU. Campaign adverts, which have already appeared in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool as well as in some national newspapers, are headlined “When will we know what we voted for?” and add: “We all deserve a final say on the Brexit deal”. The largest donor has been Soros’s Open Society Foundation, which has provided £800,000. The campaign group is not covered by Electoral Commission regulations, which ban foreign donors, because there is no pending national vote. However, a spokesman said the group did not take money from overseas and that Soros’s donations come via the Open Society Foundation’s UK branch, which is a company registered in England and Wales, which would mean they were permissible under election law. Caroline Frint, John Stevenson. Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian.
  • Feb.22.2018: Brexit rebels force delay to customs votes. Ministers are to delay Commons votes on the customs union for up to two months amid fears that they could result in defeats that jeopardise Brexit negotiations. Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke, Remain-supporting Tory MPs, have been tabling amendments to the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill (aka the Customs, or Trade Bill). Eloise Todd, from the pro-Remain Best for Britain, said: "She is in hock to more than 60 ideologically driven hard Brexiteers. This group would drive our country over a cliff for ideological purity." Owen Smith, shadow Northern Ireland secretary, said he wanted Britain to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union. The Times, Sam Coates
  • Feb.09.2018: There’s no secret plot. The Daily Mail won’t stop us trying to reverse Brexit. Best for Britain is very publicly pushing to get the right outcome for our country – and we’re proud of it. Today the Daily Mail attacked Best for Britain, jumping on the bandwagon after the Daily Telegraph put us on its front page on Thursday. The reason? A donation by George Soros to our cause – which is simply to give people a proper say on the deal with the European Union, including the option of remaining. The Guardian, Eloise Todd, CEO
  • Feb.07.2018: George Soros's foundation backs campaign to reverse Brexit. US business magnate has given £400,000 to Best for Britain since June 2017 election. The Best for Britain campaign advocates remaining in the EU. The campaign is chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a former UK govt minister and deputy UN secretary general. It was co-founded by Gina Miller, who took the UK govt to court over the triggering of the Article 50 process to leave the EU. Best for Britain said it had collected more than £413,000 in small donations from sympathetic members of the public. Eloise Todd, the chief executive of the Best for Britain campaign, was a former executive director of global policy at the ONE campaign. The campaign is supported by politicians including former Labour minister Andrew Andonis and former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron. The organisation has a full-time staff of around 10 people and a training programme led by Mike Moffo, a senior organiser for former US president Barack Obama. The Guardian, Jessica Elgot