Jo Swinson: we are so close to stopping Brexit

We are so close to stopping Brexit.

In the three years since we started our calls for a People’s Vote on the final deal, your hard work has taken it from a fringe view in British politics to a position that is now advocated by millions of people, and so many more MPs across both sides of the House of Commons.

But to deliver and win that People’s Vote we need to do two things.

First, we need to learn how to count.

There is not yet a majority in Parliament for a People’s Vote, but it is currently the most popular option of any that were put forward in the indicative votes process. We now need to secure those extra few votes to get it over the line, because without a parliamentary majority for it we will never make it happen.

As the Liberal Democrat face of the People’s Vote campaign, I’ve been working with people right across Parliament to bring them on board and build a cross-party group of MPs to get the numbers we need.

If I’m elected leader, that is the spirit in which I will lead. I genuinely believe that people want to see politicians adopt a less tribal approach, and work together to tackle the biggest issue our country faces, and that’s the way I’ve been working for the last two years since I won my seat back. We wouldn’t have got so close to a People’s Vote any other way, and I’m determined we get over the finish line.

The next step is then winning that People’s Vote.

The economic case for staying in the EU is clear, even the Government’s own figures back up that case. But while that argument might win minds, it won’t win hearts.

And to do that, we need to make the emotional argument.

The EU has been a beacon of peace and hope in the world for decades. It has ended the cycle of European wars that blighted previous centuries, allowed Europe to stand together against growing nationalism around the globe and helped to deliver peace in Northern Ireland, which would be put at risk if we leave.

The EU has allowed UK citizens to make their homes abroad, brought European citizens to the UK, enriching our culture as well as supporting our public services, and allowed students to travel and study all across Europe.

The EU has given us a platform through which we can stand tall on the global stage, speaking as one voice on the big issues, like the climate emergency and combatting international terrorism.

Our place in the EU has made us greener, safer, more open and more prosperous and that is the case we need to make to win a People’s Vote.

We must do whatever it takes to stop Brexit because failing would be too high a price to pay for generations to come.