Guild Summit has reached a consensus that Liverpool Guild of Students should support the concept of a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal, but in the event of a referendum occurring, the Guild should remain impartial.
This is an amendment to Vice President, Jonathan Foster’s original motion on Change It, which suggested that the Guild should support a People’s Vote and to campaign to Remain in the European Union (EU) if one should arise.
Foster’s proposal received 97 ‘up’ likes and 35 ‘down’ likes, so the proposition was debated at Guild Summit. Guild Summit is a democratic exercise, composed of 50 randomly selected students and is based on factors such as gender, level of study, ethnicity and mature students. This is designed to provide the most accurate representation of the university community.
In his opening pitch, Foster argued that the motion would allow the Guild to join over 70 student unions in support for a ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit [The Sphinx are unable to confirm this]. This is not the same as campaigning for a second referendum because the question would be different. It is not too late for students to have their say. Brexit will negatively impact students due to a potential increase in tuition fees for EU students, losing access to the Erasmus Plus programme impacting study abroad opportunities, and the loss of vital EU research funding. He went on to add that the student unions at Edge Hill and Liverpool Hope have both endorsed a People’s Vote.
There was no opposing speaker for the motion.
Summit agreed with the concept of a referendum on the terms of Brexit and that the option to Remain should be on the ballot paper. However, there was deliberation regarding the official position the Guild should take in the event of another referendum coming to fruition.
Following Summit, Jonathon provided his opinion of the verdict:
“This was not about remaining in the EU; it was about going back to the country and asking people for their say, given the information is much richer, compared to 2016 where it was misguided. It was also about providing students with their say, especially with the information we have now. Clarity is needed as March 29th is fast approaching. The next steps would be to work with campaigns who are seeking a people’s vote and to try to lobby local and national government on this policy.”
Henry, a Geology student who participated in Summit, commented: “Summit was really positive as it got students involved in democratic decision making, as opposed to being solely the Guild Officers. It felt like a natural consensus was formed, where people were not forced or could be swayed. I have no complaints about the outcome, irrespective of whether you voted Leave or Remain in 2016.”