Hopes for an extension of Transition period fading

North Herts for Europe has had a letter published in the Comet:

It is now looking increasingly unlikely that an extension of Transition period with the EU can be agreed by the end of this month, and according to a Social Market Foundation report commissioned by the cross-party Best for Britain group published in May ‘Assessing the economic implications of coronavirus and Brexit’ p 8, available from Best from Britain) failing to negotiate a deal with the EU, in combination with the impact of COVID-19, will result in a huge negative economic impact on Hertfordshire, where a large number of jobs are in the areas of manufacturing, finance, banking and insurance. Yet our government is still threatening to end the transition period in which our current trading arrangements apply on 31st December, if an extension agreement is not reached with the EU by the end of June.

Britain’s departure from EU decision-making bodies has now occurred, but the economically disastrous No-Deal outcome for which the UK is currently heading does not have to be inevitable. The European Movement would like to urge readers to write to their MP to encourage them to demand that the Government extend the current transition arrangements (as the other countries of the EU have already indicated their willingness to do). If this is not done, the economic damage caused by COVID-19 will be greatly increased.

Tactical Voting – Recommendations for Hitchin and Stevenage

As a non-affiliated organisation, North Herts for Europe recommends voting LibDem in Hitchin and Harpenden and Labour in Stevenage – Explanation below.

What is Tactical Voting?

Our First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system developed when just two parties competed against each other. The one with the most votes was the winner, and that was fair and proper.

Now, however, there are a number of parties competing for votes, sometimes with a similar policy on a key issue, such as holding a People’s Vote. In this situation the votes in support of that issue may be split between several parties. In contrast, just one party may hold a different view, such as being strongly pro-Brexit. Even if the majority of people vote for parties supporting a People’s Vote, because the voting is split, the single pro-Brexit party could easily emerge as the winner.

Even if you’ve voted many times before you may not be familiar with the concept of Tactical Voting.

Tactical Voting arises from people deciding which of the parties with a similar policy has the best chance of winning, and voting for that party even if it is one they would not normally support. By voting in this way, people increase the chances of getting the outcome they actually want, rather than allowing a minority view to win the day.

Impact of Tactical voting

Due to using the First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system, there is often only a small difference in the number of votes for two, or even three parties. Consequently only a small number of votes may be needed to push a candidate into the winning position, ‘past the post’ in horse racing terminology.

Tactical voting – Why now?

Tactical Voting is much more significant than ever before, as party loyalties are being superseded by voters’ views about Brexit. The figure for those intending to vote tactically has been increasing from 22%, 24% last week and is now 30%!

Poll reveals record-breaking 30 percent of public plan to vote ‘tactically’ in General Election

Tactical voting websites

There are a number of Tactical Voting websites and this number is increasing. They obtain their figures from various polling providers and histories. Some would be based on national rather than local conditions. However the histories, understandably, tend to be based on, well, history, and generally don’t take account of Tactical Voting which now appears to be a major influence.

Taking care in Tactical voting

The different Tactical Voting websites can, confusingly, give different recommendations, may contradict each other and can change as they receive new data. So it’s necessary to understand what’s going on on the ground.

If you are prepared to vote tactically, holding your nose if necessary to prevent Johnson’s disastrous deal, or even worse, a ‘No deal’ at the end of 2020, both the Labour party and Liberal Democrats are pushing for a Peoples Vote. We recommend voting for one or the other, depending on where you are registered to vote.

Locally the Labour party appears more focused on winning Stevenage. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are putting the great effort into the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency.

“Moreover there are a many “Remainers”, especially in Harpenden who have said they will switch to voting Libdem, but cannot bring themselves to vote for Corbyn’s Labour Party.”

Consequently as a non-affiliated organisation, North Herts for Europe recommends voting for:

Jill Borcherds (Labour) if you are in Stevenage, and

Sam Collins (Liberal Democrat) if you are in Hitchin and Harpenden.If you are in North East Herts constituency, it seems unlikely that tactical voting would change who wins the seat. However,  the candidate with the best chance of beating Sir Oliver Heald is Kelly Green (Labour) 

For more details see: Tactical Voting – Recommendations for Hitchin and Stevenage > North Herts for Europe

And on Election day send a message out saying ‘I’ve voted, have you?’ to increase turnout.

Splitting the Remain Vote – Tactical Voting or a Nightmare? – A letter published in the local Comet newspaper.

December 2019 -The Brexit election

“We still need a Peoples vote to determine if the country wants Brexit. So we need to prevent a Tory majority, as they will proceed to implement their damaging Brexit. Due to the First Past the Post electoral system we all need to consider voting Tactically.

North Herts for Europe, as a non-party organisation, is assisting local campaigns which are working to prevent a Tory majority. Please join us, complete the form at the bottom of the page to be kept informed.

The following are Extracts from Inews

Fighting Brexit and beating Boris Johnson are well-aligned goals – with tactical voting, Remainers can do both

Voting for someone who isn’t your first choice feels wrong, but it offers a way for Remain voters to be represented

The whole point of tactical voting is that you cast your vote for a party which would not ordinarily be your natural choice, a party that you might even find unpalatable, in exchange for a voter of that party doing likewise in favour of the party you do support, in a seat where it stands a better chance. 

There is now a majority in the UK that wishes to Remain in the EU. With the exception of a few outliers, most of the three hundred polls in the last two years put Remain ahead – 74 out of 75 in 2019 – with a stable lead of six to seven points. 

Brexiters know this, which is why they will never agree to a second referendum. They are trying to push through something as “the will of the people”, absolutely knowing it is not. 

We will have to be incredibly sensible, measured, flexible, well informed and up-to-date.  There will be local issues, which we will understand better than any pollster.

We are best placed to intuit the character and credibility of local candidates. And we will be quicker at noticing local shifts in opinion and factoring in national polling shifts as the campaigns go on. 

This is an election in which nobody will be able to take you by the hand and tell you what to do. It is an election in which you, the voter, will have to be the adult in the room.

Everyone can walk away a winner, because our primary objectives, by happy coincidence, align entirely. Whether stopping Johnson or stopping Brexit ranks higher in your priorities, they are now one and the same.  Alex Andreou is a writer, co-host of the Remainiacs podcast and occasionally works with Best for Britain, a tactical voting site. 

March together for decency and democracy this Saturday 19/10/19.

Next Saturday we march en masse to register our voices at a time when they are being ignored by Government. Democracy is a debate and demands that we be heard and be seen as the new majority on the Brexit issue. 

North Herts for Europe cordially invites you to join us and Harpenden for Europe in Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 2ND, between 11.45am and 12.30pm ready to march together to Parliament Square. As you may know Parliament will be sitting despite this being a Saturday, and this momentous day will be crucial in the planning of our prosperity, safety and cohesion for the future.

A Poll of polls now shows remain with a clear and consistent majority. When a nation’s people are ignored by their Government those people must demand to be heard again. 

North Herts for Europe have two other meeting points through the day:
3pm Costa Coffee, above Waterstones, Trafalgar Square. WC2N 5EJ

6.30pm The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross Station. N1C 4AH

We are asking for our politicians to work together cross party to arrest the diminishement of the UK that is Brexit and return to the people their democratic voice.

We look forward to seeing you there on this day like no other in our living memories. We must return truth to leadership so we can make properly informed choices.

If you live in or around North Hertfordshire or Stevenage and plan to attend please let us know by emailing nherts4europe@mail.com thanks.

Gove announces Open borders for Organised crime gangs

In the House of commons today, 8 Oct 2019, Michael Gove announced the ‘Disconection of SISII’ as part of Brexit. This is the system which continually shares information on criminals and their activities in and between EU states. Of course this includes the UK and Ireland. See official Government statement. And then read the consequences below.

Preparations for No deal Brexit – As announced in Parliament on 8 October 2019

Gove’s speech exactly as delivered. Transcript

Last year 1412 suspects were arrested in the UK using the European arrest warrant, which will no longer be available to the Police.

UK to Lose Access to Million Pieces of Information on Criminals in Case of a No-Deal Brexit

From the Independent:

Britain will be at greater risk from terrorism and organised crime if it crashes out of the EU without a deal, a government document has admitted.

Attempts to reach new security agreements with EU members – to replace the European Arrest Warrant and the Schengen Information System database of suspects – “cannot fully compensate”, it concedes.

The admission comes just weeks after James Cleverly, the Conservative party chairman, insisted security co-operation would continue seamlessly, even after a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

In contrast, the ‘No-Deal Readiness Report, published by Michael Gove, states that a crash-out “would result in some mutual loss of capability for the UK and EU member states”.

The UK would be forced to aim for “maximising our use of Interpol” and to use “bilateral channels and other multilateral mechanisms outside EU structures”.

Or, in other words, what we had to rely on before the UK joined the EU system.

Police bust multi-billion pound crime racket after 50 tonnes of drugs smuggled into country

Example of Anglo-Dutch cooperation required to beat organised crime from ITV news today 8 October 2019.

They say: “We just need to get Brexit done!”


We are all sick and tired of Brexit and would like to hear no more of it.   Does Boris really think it can all be put behind us and we can then get on with everything else that needs to be done – the NHS, schools, jobs, housing, social care, and so much more? Nigel Farage talks about having a “Clean Brexit”.

But if Brexit happens on 31 October that will not be the end of it, especially a ‘No deal Brexit’.  We will lose about 90 existing country trade deals and very few will be ready, despite what Liam Fox promised. It will just be the start of years and years of turmoil and uncertainty, with Britain in a weaker place than ever before.

After Brexit, out of sheer necessity, the UK will ask Brussels for an urgent trade deal.  The reply will be “Pay what you owe, respect the rights for EU nationals, and fix the Irish border before we discuss trade”.  Nothing will have changed.  Except we will be in a far weaker position as a non-member of the club, a “third country” just like so many others throughout the world.  Terms and Conditions will apply.

How many of us realise how prolonged and tortuous the process will be?  Even the withdrawal deal which Theresa May negotiated is riddled with ambiguous statements and matters remaining to be resolved. Inevitably, the result will be far less advantageous than what we have now; that is perhaps understood as the price for breaking free of Brussels.  But do we all understand just how contentious the process will be? Brexit will not be over, it will be just the start of another stage, with much litigation, but now from a position of profound weakness.

That new phase of Brexit – still dominating the news and political agenda for years to come – will be more difficult than anything so far.  For example, any new trade deal with the EU will need to be approved by 27 sovereign governments but also by regional parliaments in a number of countries, as well as the European parliament – each one of these will have a veto, and not want to be weakened by a country no longer a member of the club.

Are we going to be told that all we need is a bulldog approach of “no-surrender”, with the Dunkirk spirit getting us through if we stand firm? An irrevocable exit from the EU will just be the start, not the finish, of a long and difficult  journey to an unknown destination.  Is that what we really want and deserve?

Better to keep what has been achieved over the last forty years, and put Brexit behind us.  Give people the chance to decide what is really best for our country, now and for generations to come. In time, perhaps strengthened by the troubles and turmoil of the past three years, we will regain our rightful place in the top three most influential nations in Europe – and Europe itself will be stronger as a result.

140 MPs write to PM Johnson demanding he recalls Parliament now

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Our MPs names do not appear below. Write to Bim, Oliver or Stephen today.

We are wasting precious time. We can be sure Boris Johnson and his unelected advisor, Dominic Cummings, will be working hard through the summer to subvert democracy and silence the many millions of people that do not want Brexit or its effects to continue.

140 MPs have written to the Prime Minister urging him to recall Parliament now. There are very serious concerns to be addressed and this is no time for holidays when our Government are hugely increasing spending to prepare for a completely avoidable disaster.

Please do send a copy of this letter to Bim, Oliver or Stephen depending on which constituency you are in and ask them to support the recall. You might also like to ask them how they intend to protect your medical supplies and fresh food sources should this PM without a mandate drag us into chaos.

Email addresses and Twitter accounts of our MPs

Hitchin and Harpenden



There is a copy of the letter in this article. You can also retweet Stephen Doughty’s tweet.

Many thanks for your support and action

No deal Brexit – Excellent news for international criminals!

Whilst the New Prime Minister talks about reversing the cuts to the Police numbers made by his predecessor his ‘No deal Brexit’ will actually make life easier for criminals with the UK cut off from the rapid two-way flow of vital data about criminal activity. The newly trained Police officers will take several years to be effective, meanwhile access to SISII alerts will cease on 31 October!

The National Crime Agency leads the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime

The following are excerpts from the Guardian – 27 July 2019:

Organised criminals exploit our borders and judicial differences and increasingly relocate from jurisdictions where law enforcement capabilities are strong to reduce the chance of detection.

An increasing percentage of crime is cross-border and cross-jurisdictional and ever more complex to investigate and detect.

Once the UK leaves the EU, police forces will not have access to European arrest warrants, European investigation orders or the Schengen Information System II, which allows officers to enter and consult alerts on persons or objects.

A no-deal Brexit at the end of October is now a possibility, which means that the priority for ICCC, the [International Crime Bureau] and police forces should be to focus on the mitigation of increased risks due to the loss of access to SIS II alerts.” SIS II is the Schengen Information System database.

The Home Office has made available £5.6m to a Brexit contingency unit because of the dangers involved in a cliff-edge loss of access to EU security and criminal databases.  [Former NCA deputy director general David Armond’s] report warns that “a key feature of crime, particularly serious organised crime, is that the perpetrators, the victims and the commodity are in different jurisdictions across the globe.

[Guardian 27 July 2019]

Please write to Bim Afolami MP if you live in the Hitchin And Harpenden constituency

Message from Richard Scott of Harpenden from Europe:

Dear friends,

With the looming election of Boris Johnson as Leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister, the risk of a catastrophic No Deal Brexit is higher than ever.

We have all seen the mask slip from Johnson’s carefully managed “loveable posh clown” act, to reveal a impulsive, egoistical incompetent and serial liar. In less than a week he was caught out lying to the public again, this time lying on live television about EU restrictions on Isle of Man kippers AND having his bike stolen !

We should be very afraid.

But there is hope.

Parliament is fighting back.

MPs across all the major parties are working together to resist No Deal Brexit. This week, an amendment sponsored by Labour MP Hilary Benn and Conservative MP Alastair Burt, designed to make it more difficult for Johnson to suspend (or “prorogue”) Parliament, passed in the House of Commons by an impressive 41 votes.

Unfortunately, our local Member of Parliament, Bim Afolami, voted with the Government and voted against the Benn-Burt amendment.
What is particularly distressing about Bim’s actions is that he has repeatedly reassured his constituents of his opposition to a No Deal Brexit. Something has changed.

Bim’s Statements and Promises On No Deal Brexit 

3rd December 2018
“That just gives a sense of the scale of calamity if we end up crashing out of the European Union without a deal at the end of March next year. If any of you lose your job because of a chaotic no-deal and come to me afterwards and say, well, why did you allow this to happen? You know, that isn’t what I want on my conscience.“

11th December 2018
“The choice for both the UK and EU is this: plunge into the valley of death of a no-deal Brexit, or try to come to a sensible resolution.”

22nd January 2019
“Underlying all of this is a realisation that avoiding a no-deal exit is critical for the City of London.”https://www.ft.com/content/7161350e-1d9b-11e9-b126-46fc3ad87c65

​22nd January 2019
“My position has not changed. I could not support a no deal outcome and I have ruled out supporting no deal on several occasions.”

13th March 2019
“I will be voting against a ‘no deal’ outcome today, as I believe it would cause irreparable damage to the UK economy and would not be in the national interest or the in the interest of my constituents in Hitchin and Harpenden.”

28th March 2019
A ‘No Deal’ outcome would mean immediate restrictions on our trade, disrupt our economic growth and cause issues at our borders. The entire Government – including those who campaigned for leave and remain – has been clear that a no deal scenario is not desirable and is not the best outcome for the future of our country.
3rd April 2019
”A ‘No Deal’ outcome would be catastrophic. It would have a severe impact on our security services, police forces and legal system: cause a severe hike in food prices and the reintroduction of direct rule in Northern Ireland. Parliament must find a way through this mess somehow, and we need to consider every potential option carefully if we are to avoid a chaotic ‘No Deal’ outcome”
Letter to Hitchin and Harpenden constituent 

After reading and trusting these statements, who could blame you, as Bim’s constituent, for taking him at his word to protect the country and his constituents from a No Deal Brexit ?

And how do you feel now?

Indeed, not only is Bim voting to give Johnson a free hand to prorogue Parliament and deliver a No Deal Brexit, he is effectively saying that his role as our Member of Parliament, in so far as holding the Government to account over Brexit is concerned, is redundant !

Nobody voted for that in the 2107 General Election.
If you feel angry and upset about this, you have every right to be.

The most constructive way to express your concern is by writing to Bim directly. You can tell him that that any support for a No Deal Brexit is completely unacceptable. In particular, our view is that:

1. He must not serve in a Government that would allow a No Deal Brexit. If this means resigning from his current position as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, then so be it;

2. He should vote against any legislation allowing the suspension (“proroguation”) of Parliament, and in support of any legislation preventing such suspension;

3. Now that the Withdrawal Agreement is dead, he should represent the wishes and interests of his constituents and vote in support of legislation promoting either a People’s Vote with the option to Remain, or simply Revoking Article 50. 

4. If he is unable to commit to the above, then he has by definition failed in his duties under the House of Commons Code of Conduct to serve the interests of his Country and his constituents, and should resign and allow Hitchin and Harpenden to elect a new Member of Parliament.

Bim’s email address is Bim.Afolami.MP@Parliament.UK

His postal address is PO Box 1241, Harpenden, AL1 9JF

We know that your emails and letters have a powerful influence on Bim. He may not reply to all of them, but he does read them and he and his team take note of the balance of opinion.

Remember to include your address and postcode. Bim can only reply to correspondence from his constituents. 

You can include us on cc or bcc if you like: harpenden4europe@gmail.com

Thank you again for your fantastic support. It is a huge privilege to be able to serve you and the interests of our constituents.

Richard Scott, Chair, Harpenden for Europe

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