PoliticalSpeak: Brexit and MS

For pwMS please make a stand for MS and Bremain! #PoliticalSpeak #MSBlog #Brexit #Bremain

“Since last Friday I have become depressed; I have no energy and I am finding it hard to get through each day. I have not run since Monday and have spent the week ruminating about life the Universe and whether or not my family and I should explore employment options abroad. I simply can’t come to terms with the UK having to leave Europe and the United Kingdom breaking up when Scotland votes to leave. I have started working on an apology for when I meet, and have to speak to, my European colleagues about what happened last Friday. It is now clear that the Brexit vote is nothing short of a calamity for pwMS, the NHS, researchers and for higher education in the UK.”

People with MS: Several of my patients with MS who are from EU countries and are on expensive DMTs under the NHS have contacted me to ask whether or not Brexit means they will need to return to their countries of origin for treatment. In some of these countries these treatments are simply not available. What do I say to them? This issue raises many more questions around how we manage patients from the EU.”

The NHS: I have already mentioned that the NHS relies on labour from the EU to keep it going. One of our nurses on our infusion unit who is from France is being urged by her parents to return home. She is simply an amazing nurse and touches the lives of many of our patients with MS every day of the week. What do I tell her? What about the army of other nurses, doctors, allied healthcare professionals and carers from EU countries? What do we tell them; what do we tell their patients with MS?”

Researchers: A Spanish post-doctoral scientist came into my office on Wednesday morning to tell me that he will probably returning to Spain to take up a Spanish fellowship rather than stay in the UK. He is one of many of the thousands of hard working scientists who will doing the same and returning to mainland Europe because of Brexit. How short sighted have the British public being in making such a rash decision and scaring away bright scientists? What about our large EU collaborations and EU grants? My heart sinks when I think of the consequences Brexit will have for MS and medical research in general.”

Higher Education: Our University relies on EU students to keep us afloat. About 20% of our fee paying students come from EU countries. Not to mention all the teachers and lecturers from the EU who make our University such an interesting place to work and study. Brexit is simply a disaster for higher education in the UK. I see many Universities being forced to close and see income from higher education plummeting. This will affect the treasury and will massive knock on effects on the wider economy.”

Can we reverse the Brexit decision? I am told yes and a colleague of mine has penned the letter below that I have sent to my MP. Please feel free to copy it and send it to your own MP. The more momentum the Bremain campaign gets the more likely we are to stay in the EU. Bremain is such an important campaign for people living with MS and other chronic diseases in the UK.” 

Mr Chuka Umunna

MP for Streatham

Dear Chuka

Parliament’s Responsibility Regarding Brexit

I am writing to ask you to take up with your fellow MPs that Parliament should decide that the UK does not invoke Art 50 TFEU to terminate its membership of the EU.


  1. The referendum is not legally binding on anyone.
  2. There is no legally specified majority which forms the basis of any decision.
  3. A matter of such fundamental constitutional importance should not be decided on a bare majority (by comparison, under company law, the constitution of a company can only be changed with a special majority usually 75%. It cannot be right that the country’s basis position as such should be decided on such a narrow margin).
  4. It is now the case that Parliament decides fundamental issues of international relations such as acts of war. This is of at least the equivalent significance and thus Parliament must decide.
  5. The decision to remain in the EU was supported by Scotland, Northern Ireland and London. No other electoral decision making ignores these national and local identities. The constituency system, on the contrary, gives effect to them.
  6. A YouGov poll has suggested that 75% of voters under the age of 35 voted to remain. It would be a travesty of democracy for such a long term decision to be made contrary to the wishes of those who have most at stake and represent the future of the country.
  7. As a result, any action to invoke art 50 by the Government in these circumstances is entirely without democratic legitimacy.

Despite the result of the referendum it is plainly against the interests of the country for the UK to leave the EU. The immediate fallout is more than enough evidence.

Since it is probably the single most important issue of our time I am writing to suggest a way forward out of the disaster that is looming. I’m sure you have been deluged on this subject. As a London MP you will recognise the destructive effect it will have on our city. The impending dismembering of the UK, let alone the implications for Europe and the world make it imperative for Parliament to exercise this historic responsibility.

Your sincerely

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

77 thoughts on “PoliticalSpeak: Brexit and MS”

  1. Prof G you have my full support. I have signed the petition to declare London a sovereign city state and to have a rerun of the referendum. I agree leaving the EU is not in the interest of the NHS and people with chronic disabling diseases.

  2. Why not move to Scotland? I am sure you can find a post in one of the Scottish Universities.

  3. You need to take a chill pill. The sky is still blue and the buses are still running. The full breakaway is 2 years + away. The people have spoken and as we live in a democracy we have to go with the result and move forward. Trying to reverse a decision smacks of elitism i.e. the great and the good / the establishment (including people like you) think that they should ignore the will of the people as they know better. We’ve been through way more difficult times in this country and come through. Change is often good. Why do the same thing again and again? You don’t appear to be much of an innovator and too risk averse. Many people like me vote Leave as we want a simpler government which we can elect and hold to account. The EU hasn’t worked – just look at the Greek crisis, high youth unemployment in Spain etc. Small is often beautiful. We will thrive again. We still have world class Universities and research. We have always been innovative and willing to take risks. Lucky for you that you have a choice to chase the dollars and work abroad. When you are established in Harvard or Yale (or some other Ivy League University) pumping out research papers, I hope you have time to reflect on your time in the UK. I think you never really understood the people of this island. We are fair and tolerant overall, but also like to control our own destiny. We invent stuff – trains, jet engines, phones, the world wide web…., cricket, rugby, football…. We have produced some of the greatest minds across science, literature etc. 15% of all music sold in the world is from the UK – and we are tiny. Your worries seem to focus on cuts in research grants and the possibility of no more invites to the ECTRIMS jamborees. 100 years ago thousands of my fellow countrymen gave up their lives to preserve the freedoms of this country and lay down their lives for what we had built. And you feel depressed because the EU referendum result didn’t go your way!

    1. We prefer it if you would use a name/pseudonym when you post a comment. I would suggest you might use Pollyanna or Dr Pangloss judging by the content of your comment.This country has performed a breathtaking act of self-harm for which we will pay heavily in the future.

    2. MD2 – your own Welsh folk voted Leave. Were they all wrong as well? You've spent 30 years looking through a microscope. Are you really qualified to dictate to the UK voters what they should vote for in a referendum?

    3. There were pockets of enlightenment in Wales, glad to see my home city was one.

  4. I am italian, and I am very sad that you leave us.We need you, together we are strong !

    1. Thank you, fortunately we won't literally be drifting off into the mid Atlantic, only metaphorically.

    1. To me and most other people it means…Laugh(ing) out Loud for something that is funny.

    2. I have this vague memory MouseDoc that it was you who once wrote lol = lots of love. It was def here and it was a mouse doc. It made me laugh at the time which is why I remembered it.Ps. I agree – MouseDoc2's comment (not his/her pain) did actually make me Laugh out Loud.

  5. Prof G, your post is very reactionary and symptomatic of living in the London bubble.Firstly, the referendum decision is not legally binding but it will never be overturned. There will be riots the scale this country has never seen if the will of the people is ignored. No electable party will dare to not carry out Brexit. The decision is now essential to the people and thus a democratic mandate.No-one from the EU currently living here will be forced to return unless they chose to do so. You know that, Prof G.London is an arrogant place if She thinks becoming a city-state is an advisory option. The city has asset stripped the north, closed down all industry, centralised its financial markets, and created discrepancies in living condition not seen in the UK since the Victorian era. Working class middle-Englanders are hurting. We have poor schools, rubbish hospitals, abysmal social housing, and desperate job opportunities. We've been ignored, but now we have got your attention in a way you didn't see coming, even though the country should have.Scotland will never become independent. The EU can't let that happen. It is too risky as Spain will always veto its membership. They benefit from the Barnett Formula and need the UK's support more than ever. Sturgeon was sent back packing by Junker this week and told to pipe down. It won't happen.Britain has decided. Her peoples' will is clear. It will not go back and, to be honest, the EU is going to die as its problems are too severe. It's haemorrhaging economy, rampant political corruption, and the mismanagement of the migrant crisis ensures that.

    1. "Britain has decided. Her peoples' will is clear."52:48% hardly a ringing endorsement is it? Such an important decision should not be dependent on such a slim majority but we are where we are and it doesn't look good for the future.

    2. It's what it is, MD2.Had the Remainians won by such a small margin then I do not think Leavers will have contested it.It was the biggest voting turn out in UK history. Love won. You have to accept it or else you will only get angry and depressed. There's no turning back.

    3. I refer you to this story im May.The question of a second referendum was raised by Mr Farage in an interview with the Mirror in which he said: "In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it."Goose,sauce,gander sort of thing.I'm not only angry and depressed, I'm greatly worried for the future of all the residents of the UK, both leavers and remainers.

    4. Farage is not a good man, but the UK did vote Leave. He is not in parliament, so he is a peripheral entity. No need to stoop to his tactics. He'd have loved it if Remain won. It'd have kept in business but now he's in the background.

    5. I hope my comments aren't going overboard and are not seen as inflammatory: i'm just trying to be funny. laughter is the best medicine, after all, in dark times.maybe you brits made a mistake when you sent your convicts to australia. you went to bed and what seems to be without thinking voted yourself out of economic union with your nearest and dearest. in aus, we keep voting on whether we want to leave the symbolic union with the UK, the nation on the other side of the planet who doesn't really do that much for us, and we just can't make ourselves do it. maybe if you didn't send us away you'd still be part of the EU.Ps. I was actually born in the former Yugoslavia so I was never really related to any convicts Britain sent away lol.

    6. The majority was slim and the turnout disappointing. Too many people voted without understanding the implications, especially those who voted 'Leave'. A democratic decision but far from overwhelming. Our role in Europe is going to shift but once the dust has settled I think the changes will be minimal. I believe a way will be found to maintain a flow of money into the UK for R & D plus Europe will want to trade with us and vice versa.Lets hope ther are no knee-jerk reactions

    7. is consent really consent when you are provided with no information to enable you to give informed consent (eg. in medical decision/procedures settings). there was an article in the aussie media recently how the voting system is too complicated for migrants to understand. i don't know why the article picked on migrants specifically – it wouldn't be too unfair to say that the voting system could be too complex for many of our most vulnerable members of our society to understand. the issue is given a bit of significance in aus cos of compulsory voting. i don't know what percentage of society 'vulnerable people who apparently don't understand the voting system' represents – but is it really democracy if the system is too complex for some voters? ps. it's election day today!

    8. Re: "London bubble"The London Boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham, which Barts-MS covers, are amongst the most deprived boroughs in the UK; some bubble! Importantly these boroughs voted REMAIN.

    9. I couldn't afford to live in these deprived London boroughs or in London as a whole. London for me is a pipe dream.

    1. Interesting, may be the Supreme Court will have the last say on Brexit? You would have thought the Government would have done due diligence on the legality of the referendum before deciding to have it. I am very grateful we have such an independent judicial system that is capable of holding the government to account.

  6. This piece in today’s Telegraph sums it up for me “These are dark days for democracy. No sooner had 17.5 million people disobeyed the establishment and voted out of the EU than observers were wondering if such big decisions should be trusted to such little people. We must now overturn the plebs’ vote, they say, or at least force the idiots to vote again. It’s hard to remember a time when elite agitation with the demos has been as explicit as it is now.”I’m staggered by the arrogance of Prof G’s post and the little snipes by MD2 (his own countrymen voted Leave, but as they are ex-miners or low-paid, they shouldn’t really have a say in the eyes of MD2).The political posts on this blog are the reasons I seldom visit now. Champagne socialists spouting left wing idealism before heading back to their millionaire homes. What about the research that Team G are supposed to be driving forward. Any news on that front? Any breakthroughs? I’m glad the majority voted Leave. It’s the normal people of this country sticking 2 fingers up to the arrogance of the London elite (academics / politicians / finance) who think they know best. Armageddon’s coming apparently. The end of the world as we know it. Sorry to hear you are feeling depressed Prof G. You should thank your luck stars that you don’t have MS!

    1. In the notorious words of Michael Gove, “people in this country have had enough of experts”, that is a manifesto of despair.

    2. I remember what life was life before the EU. Living in one of the poorest areas of London. No equality for disabled people, even though we'd work harder than our colleagues sitting next to us. The Tory government's refusal to join the social chapter of the EU made life more difficult. The areas that voted leave were the places that got money back from Brussels as they were designated as deprived. Why were they deprived in the first place? Because successive governments have give tax breaks for the wealthy sold most of new homes to investors. If you stood outside Barts Hospital in the 1980s you would see buckets being shaken to pay for scanners. As we have found this week the politicians that drummed up EU racial hatred, only had their career ambition plans in mind, not what was best for this country. They not only stabbed each other in the back they put the knife in the UKs future.

    3. Re: "You should thank your luck stars that you don’t have MS!"I do, but don't take things for granted, which is why I pop vD supplements every day of the week.

  7. 17.14 million remainers out of a population of 65 million odd is hardly a majority – whatever the 51.9/48.1 splits says.

  8. I whole heartledly agree with you post. If I didn't have MS meaning it would be hard to be accepted… I'd actively look to emigrate. I'm British to the core and I think that this is one of the most damaging things that has happened to the country in recent times. worse than the aftermath of the suez crisis. All the 'Great' rhetoric… makes me retch. I now see the country as insular and 'Little'. I feel that the supposed 'protest' vote has been led by the nose by the mainstream media. It's not a protest to effectively hand sole power to the UK establishment. let's see how they deconstruct our human Rights…. this will directly affect people profoundly affected by their MS. once the right to private and family life has been knocked away… we'll see a return to Victorian values and the return of institutional care. It's cheaper by far.

    1. There's more on this subject today from the BBC. What future for post-Brexit UK science? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36685379 "The leave campaign group, Scientists for Britain, has consistently pointed out that there are many countries outside of the EU that receive EU funding. And its spokesmen say that a points-based visa system would enable UK universities to continue to attract the brightest and best – as they do from the US, Australia, Canada and other non-EU countries."Any comments?

  9. if the British voted in favor of the output of the EU finding that so will be if protecting of terrorism or fight for jobs with people from other countries, feel inform you that not help anything… what terrorism is a cancer that only increase, unfortunately, please you or not and even if you protect it will give a way to get to you, as to jobs, with the birth rate english, and the need increasingly fierce market to have a lot of labor and qualified will not be simply leaving EU things by Magic if solve…

  10. Britain never was fully on board with the EU because it didn't accept the Euro as the currency. This was inevitable.

  11. Re: " Since last Friday I have become depressed; I have no energy and I am finding it hard to get through each day"I am not from Britain, so I'll stay away from the Brexit conversation. But I found it interesting that ProfG is depressed and because of that he is low on energy, and finding it hard to get through the day. I felt the same way after my MS diagnosis. I was very depressed for two years and very low on energy, that eventually turned to constant fatigue. But once I came to terms with my disease two years later, I felt my mood improving and energy levels increasing. I am sure the disease itself causes fatigue, but perhaps depression makes it worse.

    1. lol. i thought the depression comment was a bit of an exaggeration. about 25 years ago i watched on tv the country i was born in explode into a civil war. since then i've watched the same situation in libya, iraq, syria and many other countries. it was and is sad, sobering, heart wrenching… but i did get on with life instead of developing true depression. so did some of my friends and family in the war affected country. i suspect prof g will do the same. the fact that he has the option of emigrating with his family alone (unlike MSers who until now could move within the EU) will help him cope 🙂

  12. The referendum results will go down in British history alongside the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Somme and Dunkirk. It is an unmitigated disaster. I believe that leave voters did not understand what they were voting for. It will take 10 to 15 years to get the UK or perhaps just little England back on her feet. There are multiple trade agreements that need to be negotiated; these are complex agreements each approximately 100,000 pages long. Since all trade agreements for the last generation have been negotiated by the EU, the UK just doesn’t have that capability anymore. There are probably no more than ten people in the UK civil service qualified to negotiate a trade deal. The UK has to start from scratch to build all these missing capabilities; these government departments don’t even have names yet! The strategy consulting services are rubbing their hands with glee; they will hundreds of millions to the UK tax payer just for the fancy roadmap presentations. It will take 2 years to negotiate the leave and then anywhere from 2 to 10+ years to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU. Physically who is going to negotiate these agreements with the EU and the Rest of the World at the same time? Do you have any idea of the number of highly paid people this will take? The cost of the leave vote is orders of magnitude larger than the cost to stay, and we’ve only covered trading with other countries. The City of London cannot operate without passporting, how is the country going to survive without that tax revenue?

  13. Agree entirely Gavin. Have been thinking about you, the team and the MSers you help, since last Friday. The implications are so far reaching no one really understands what will happen. But the symbolic gesture of isolationism and small mindedness that we've expressed to the world is quite depressing enough for now. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Thanks for your support Beki. The tragedy is that the leaver's, all 52% of them, are treating the remainer's like pariah's when we make up 48% of the voters and a much larger proportion of the younger generation.

    2. So are you saying that older voters shouldn't have a vote, or their vote should have less weighting than a younger voter? In a referendum you only need one more vote than the other side to win. What are you angry about? Just because you didn't get your way? Just because you have Prof in front of your name doesn't give you any advantage when you vote in a referendum. Sounds like the Telegraph article was right. The plebs have voted one way and the establishment doesn't like it. Reminds me of the saying "if voting really changed anything they wouldn't have let us do it". Just imagine, a 65 year old lady who works in a bakery has a vote which has the same weighting as a Professor. They call it democracy Prof G. Do you want them to keep running the referendum until they get the result YOU want? Of course, members of the general public didn't understand the complexities and repercussions when the silly idiots voted Leave. Or perhaps they wanted to govern themselves, have some control over who comes in and out of their country, and stop bailing out countries which spent money they didn't have and couldn't be bothered to collect the taxes due.

    3. Fine but please don't take it the wrong way when others don't share your sense of triumph, which appears to be the vast majority of researchers and clinicians I've spoken to (no-one has admitted to voting Leave yet).

    4. Prof G age is not important the results are skewed by education. When you take education into account age is not important. Bottom line is the more well educated you are the more likely you were to vote remain. The problem is the older generation in England are less well educated than the young. May be the politicians should invest more in education.

    5. Bet you will :-)Shame it was was not articulated sufficient well before the referendum, terrible campaigns by both sides.

  14. No one knows what's going to happen in the future. UK may go down the pan or may be re-energised. I do know that public services are creaking – schools, hospitals, transport. Team G's Marxist brigade will blame cuts in public spending. As a council employee I see the issue as uncontrolled demand. We cannot plan if we don't know how much demand there will be in 5 years, 10 years etc. Prof G and Co have a dream that all the people of Europe can be squeezed in to the little island that is the UK. Utter madness. But Prof G is already talking about moving abroad. You left South Africa, you are thinking about leaving the UK. Most of us don't have that choice. I've never had much time for quitters.

    1. As a council Employee You can't be the original MouseDoctor3 or is it not the third Mad Dog 🙂

  15. It will be a very sad day when the UK leaves the EU, for me and many other scientist is a door that closes as we won't get the same opportunities to work.

  16. I'm with Dr G, hoping we won't leave. The Liberals are going to stand on a platform based on reversing the decision at the next election. That could be very soon.However, I think plenty of people voted leave because they live in areas of the country that have been ignored by the politicians for decades. They believed they had nothing to lose from leaving the EU. Whatever happens about leaving or remaining, we have to have a more equal society. For so many reasons, the political classes have to start concerning themselves with people who are not part of the metropolitan elite (and not living in Scotland).

  17. What is interesting looking at the Scottish votes Moray had an extremely close result of 49.9% leave and remain 50.1%. Aberdeenshire leave 45% and 55% remain.

  18. Well I don't blame you Prof G for feeling despondent. I've been so mad I had to get myself in hand before I had a relapse. Just reading these comments is depressing enough. One of the issues is that facts are not gettingin the way when discussing things. Facts are inconvenient to our anecdotal evidence. Both sides are guilty of confirmation bias. Anyhow Team G Marxists (snort of laughter) will know "While human societies have traditionally been organized according to complex, multi-membered … the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie" . Whether you are Bremain or Brexit the working class will be oppressd

  19. I could not believe the result, what the buffoon Boris and his henchman turned hangman Gove (the cold fish egomanic) pulled off. Michael Heseltine's rage was palpable, civilised and eloquently expressed (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/headlines/36677623), mine is rather more visceral and primeval in nature right now. First and foremost I am angry since my partner is German and being out of the EU is not going to make things easier for us. I am angry about how this is hurting an Italian friend of mine who has worked in the UK for many years, yet is now inclined to return to Italy. I am angry because leaving the EU is not a way forward in terms of nature conservation. There are so many, too many reasons to be angry about this situation. I too will write to my MP and I hope that this crisis will be reversed. If not, I am now prepared to vote yes to Scottish independence to remain part of the EU. I do not like nationalist poltics and I never wanted the UK to split. But at the end of the day, I would choose a nationalist government in Scotland which is pro-EU (http://www.scotsman.com/news/scots-mep-alyn-smith-gets-standing-ovation-after-eu-speech-1-4164140) over a split, chaotic nationalist one in Westminster with a distinct UKIP taint.

  20. From a different perspective I have been watching USA News and some reading about Brexit.For the people of Britain this should be of grave concern. While publically, the US Government stated it will of course stand with Britain on the other side of the coin are realities.Realities being the US has sized interests in the EU in many facets and Britain was the conduit of many of them and now will not be. Many of these interests political towards stability in regions of the EU as well as significant amounts of money.Several shows on TV also spoke of Germany ending up taking up the lead in the vacuum of BRExit and there are a great many people not real jazzed with that idea given the nations history in the last century.Essentially the voters of Britain are removing the nation from being on center stage in respect to globalization due to the effects that globalization has had on Britain.Those effects are felt across the entire planet and they will get much worse before they get much better including the scourge of horrors which are also related to a one world one globe context albeit "spun" to appear otherwise.The march towards globalization is not going to end. It is a pandora's box once fully opened its effects cannot be reverted. The USA in and Mr. Trump in many ways is speaking of an isolationist directed future. This would set the USA back and peoples quality of life back to the 1920's in no time flat. Its effects on the globe would be far far far more profound as US Dollars (resulting in its enormous debt in large part) float alot of economies. A domino effect. One of the reasons V Putin is rather "I like Trump" as it puts two players back atop the block while others figure out how to eat as they end up collapsing into at best local economies before they can even begin to consider a nation based one again.The BRexit ends up orphaning the nation from all I have taken in on this side of the pond. Mr. Trump here supports Brexit. He's not a dumb guy and he knows how to play the masses. This in itself should send up enormous amounts of flares to the British people.While the people of Britain see this as a wholly British matter and a wholly EU matter that is the absolute wrong position of vision. The proper position of vision is "Britain is a global leader. One of a few handfuls. That affords great responsibility and opportunity. Removing itself from the EU at the very least pushes it considerably down that chain if not out of it completely."The masses, just like the masses here in the USA are reactionary. The exact reason Mr. Trump is now atop the run for the presidency here. Making important decisions in reactionary ways seldom has the desired results.

  21. Part 1: Dear Gavin GiovannoniThank you for contacting me regarding the outcome of the EU referendum.First, let me say that I share your concern and disappointment at the result. I put everything into fighting for Britain to stay in the EU – I made the care for staying in the EU with Labour colleagues and members right across London and throughout the country. I campaigned in 10 London boroughs, represented the case for Remain at debates against the likes of Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith and Nigel Farage, visited small and medium-sized businesses, met hundreds of employees, and visited universities and student unions speaking to hundreds of students on the case for remaining in the EU.Everyone who voted for remain did so for their own reasons, whether they were economic, environmental, the protection of workers’ rights, national security, or simply an internationalist outlook. Although we have lost the referendum, those values and priorities will continue and I still strongly believe, like you, that by the strength of our common endeavour we can achieve more working together and with others than we can alone.The referendum has revealed deep divisions in our country, between nations and regions, generations, socio-economic classes, and ethnic groups. Although the result was not a landslide victory for the Leave campaign, the British people have spoken and I believe it is important that we respect the result. We must now ensure that voices from all sides – including the 48% of people who voted to Remain – are listened to over the coming weeks, months and years, as we try to heal these divisions and negotiate our position with the rest of Europe. As always I will seek to represent the views of my constituents. Streatham was one of the most pro-remain parts of the country and I will keep fighting your corner in the tough times ahead.

    1. Part 2: In the short-term it is vital that our economic and financial stability, upon which jobs and businesses rely, is re-established and protected. I support the Prime Minister’s decision not to immediately invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which would result in triggering the two year timeframe for our withdrawal and increase short-term instability.Moving forward we know that we will soon have a new Tory administration made up of leading members of the official Vote Leave campaign. A huge number of promises were made by that campaign and we must ensure that the new Conservative government is held to account – whether that is a commitment to invest in the NHS, protecting jobs and worker’s rights, or our trading arrangements with the rest of the European Union.One of the biggest issues of the referendum campaign centred on immigration. I have been clear throughout the campaign that leaving the EU will not solve what many people view as the problem with immigration. Given that so many of the population clearly disagreed with this view, we must now try to bring people together, and understand that immigration can (but does not have to) pose challenges to our communities.However, the disgraceful way that this issue was hijacked by UKIP and the Leave campaign was simply unacceptable and unfortunately, in the days since the referendum, we have seen an increase in racist and xenophobic attacks on people living within our community. Now, we must find an answer to the immigration conundrum which both addresses people’s concerns and stays consistent with our British values of openness, equality and respect.I completely understand that those who voted Remain are feeling uncertain and concerned about the future. We must now find a way to bring together our deeply divided country. I believe that this can be achieved through Labour’s values of human rights and social justice – to ensure that no matter what your starting point in life, if you work hard, play by the rules and put in the graft, all opportunities should be open to you. I hope that you will be reassured that I, as your Member of Parliament, will continue to fight for these values.Thank you again for getting in touch.Yours sincerely,Chuka Umunna MPLabour MP for StreathamCovering Streatham and parts of Clapham, Balham, Tulse Hill and BrixtonSent by the Office of Chuka Umunna MPSent by: Tashi Warr on behalf of Chuka Umunna MP

    2. Greetings Mr Umunna, While I reside in the USA and can appreciate your statements as I noted in a prior posting, BRExit caught my vision more so after the vote the prior to it. I simply could not believe my eyes when the final results came in. Saying the people and saying "The people have spoken and we must listen and follow their will" is in this case simply irresponsible. Most of the time sized organized government does not listen to the "will of the people" at all making mountains out of mole hills and mole hills out of mountains in attempting steer a nation. This is a referendum and a important one not only for the people of Great Britain but that of the global community. Understanding and working through BRexit over a two year cycle so the people have a time to digest change is responsible if indeed the will of all people in the nation is really truly wanting to be heard.There are people surely on both sides of the fence who's minds may change given what they see as the realities of BRexit over that span of time.Instead, the government has just decided to say, "Ok… We move ahead with what has happened and the voters will be done." This vote was close enough that the voters will is NOT serviced by instantaneous movement forward nor was it served by the PM stepping down.That all appears from the outside looking in as, "Well… so thats the way it is. Fine. Be careful what you ask for you just might get it."Had this been a vote to become say a disconnected US State the brakes would be applied based on the close results of the ballots.Responsible leadership views what is best for a nation and its population EVEN when that is very unpopular. 150 years ago brother murdered brother and friend murdered friend in the USA based on poor leadership, economics and a complete lacking of proper management by government of founding principles. Overtime they built a bomb and it went off causing the bloodiest days in the USA's history. No moments of pause were afforded as leaders did not take the time to properly inform and work through real issues.Today, the world is much different. Communication is readily available. Media may spin, rotate and skew facts or realities.Responsible governance does not merely respond to the will of the people which as I noted tends to be more fictional than fact. But when people are ill informed the results as well tend be ill advised.If given the opportunity to take time, in this case 2 years to well consider the positive or negative impacts of BRExit and better inform populations a responsible governance uses that opportunity as its exactly what said opportunity exists.BRExit may be a great blessing or it may be highly destructive. Taking the time since that time CAN be utilized only makes sense.It makes sense in properly moving through the BRExit SHOULD the will of the people maintain that is their wish. Taking the time so the population can properly digest, unite and understand the consequences and/or benefits is imperative to avoid conflict.Many nations on this planet are not afforded the opportunity to have time to embrace or consider change. It is simply thrust upon them. Great nations of great peoples who have great leadership are not nations where such things are simply thrust upon them EVEN when it is the will of a majority in such a tight ballot count.Great leadership recognizes what is said of truth and what is said of lie and rhetoric. Great leadership affords the people a chance to digest, understand and not try herd them together ESPECIALLY when the leadership recognizes the dangers thereof far better than the people who endured perhaps lies and rhetoric.Great leadership exists for the people, by the people towards what is responsible for the people.It is not, "Ok, we are divided, whoever has the most marbles wins."

    3. I think you're asking a politician to say that he/she will ignore the vote of the people if he/she disagrees with it. I'm not sure a politician would go down that path for obvious reasons. Are you asking if the UK Labour party will support the challenge to implementing the referendum result? Fair question.

    4. Politicians ignore the will of the people more often than not and there are many reasons why. Some valid, some not, some process, some tenure etc.Here its pretty simple. They can wait 2 years to work through the referendum and details before implementing change.Government is saying nope, wont do that. Thats irresponsible.The PM stepping down after the vote, completely irresponsible.All that is being displayed LITERALLY to the WORLD WAS a government not capable of moving timely to address real problems in its relationship with the EU and issues within its own borders with people.The people get upset and opportunists take advantage of it. The government fails to properly address matters. A vote takes place where said government figures that Brexit is just so much horse-hockey and by it being defeated in referendum they are "off the hook". Opposite happens.Thus again, as leaders they screw up once more.How do they address it? The PM steps down, again, another completely irresponsible action.They can implement a two year hold on the referendum, in fact, they dont even need pursue it, its a referendum. The vote was very close. A nation torn between its future and past.What does the government do? They choose option #3. Move ahead when THEY IN FACT KNOW that people were ill informed DUE to their lack of good governing.In such a BIG IMPORTANT DECISIONS its just common sense to move forward, slow, cautious and take the 2 years to do so.ANY MP within a region were BRemain or BRexit who would choose to NOT move forward in that fashion is irresponsible and the people should call for them to step down.This is one of those scenarios where opportunity should exist that TEACHES party based politics to govern well or else. This is the type of scenario given the events where a third party should rise.In as far as Mr Ummuna, I dont know the man.But if its his stance that he wishes best represent the interests of his constituents which some will be BRexit and some BRemain then utilizing the two years to plan, inform and work towards proper Exit from the EU in responsible.Not doing so I would be saying, "Then leave. Because your actions in not representing that constituency cautiously makes you unqualified to represent other people or for that matter even a rabbit."This is just a no brainer. Its being played out on a public stage. If not for ANY other reason, JUST THAT REASON ALONE that its on the public stage means EVERY MP need think VERY responsibly. Clearly however many, they are not capable of that.What that usually means is they are being influenced via one side or the other or externals. That means they should remove themselves from office due to influence.This is a big decision and the vote was very close. Its an issue the divided a nation. Many people were ill informed, many perhaps not.Since the government can invoke a article that allows for 2 years time before acting on the referendum thats exactly what they should do.Again, this is a no brainer given the vote and what was found about people being properly informed etc.Plan during those two years, if the transition is to happen do it right.Instead the government is "Lets forge ahead! Albeit we were SO against it!"Moronic. Literally. The entire mess wreaks of something else going on here and the British public ought be real real worried as to what.

    5. AMENDMENT:THAT PUBLIC STAGE I MENTION IS A GLOBAL STAGE and BRExit has global ramifications.That means MP's have a tremendous responsibility and from the outside looking in it appears as though many are not capable of understanding that concept. This means they should never have been in office to begin with.Good representation means being able to cope with domestic affairs effectively. OK, apparently the Great Britain current governance did not do a very effective job at that. Its not simple, its not easy, I know this.However, good governance also see's a nations position and responsibility in a world. Real BIG events can and do happen. This happens to be one of them.Catalysts such as BRExit can have larger scope in the world than the people or voter are aware of. Good governance displays such things.5 Years from now BRexit might well have been a lynch pin in war across the EU. These types of economic events can cascade and in history HAVE.There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHY that when an article exists that affords two years to move through processes that it should not be utilized. This is NOT a dog leash ordinance. Its an important decision that will effect MILLIONS of people globally.Responsible governance is CRITICAL at such times.What the government in Britain is displaying on a world stage is that they are not capable of this.To any person in Britain its a simple equation:52% of your neighbors say, "We need remove ourselves from this community we are in" (be that EU, Britain or their township even).48% say, "No we should not."SENSIBLE PEOPLE say, "Well… maybe we should forge ahead and plan and learn more, educate, we do not want make mistakes."An article exists by which they can do this. It gives them all two years.It gives them two years to talk to one another, to learn, to chart a path and plan.Instead what happens is the community leader(s) decide again, "All you people do not matter. You just handed us the key's to your welfare and future! Thanks so much!" They are not acting in the responsible fashion of, "The people have spoken. Lets move cautiously so we dont screw up further."In essence what is being shown to a global public on a global stage is that the governance there has used a situation to hijack the ENTIRE public.Its, "Ok you 52% you just gave us the keys to your future in whole. You poor 48%? Sorry, your along for the ride" and behind closed doors no doubt finding ways to try pacify while the people of Great Britain's freedom, opportunities in the world get put in the hands of politicians completely incapable of handling them in the first place.How can that be said?Because had they been able do so this referendum would never have happened.NOW they have an opportunity to say, "Ok. The people have spoken. Lets apply some brakes. We can take two years and make sure the people understand what we will do, how we will do it and if its what they truly want."Nope! Lets hit the gas pedal as the people of Britain just gave us more power over them and we better drive FAST before they realize it.

    6. Sorry, but I'm not exactly sure what you're asking the Labour MP for Streatham to do. Especially as the UK is currently governed by the Conservative Party, not Labour?. The only thing I see a non governing MP as being able to do is toe the party line or give some general explanation of how hard they are working and how they'll try everything without committing to anything. Again, if you're asking if the UK Labour will support the challenge – fair question. Politicians may ignore people's will whenever it suits them – completely agree, but when was the last time you heard a pollie stand up and say "I'm going to ignore the vote because I don't agree with it"? They won't, they'll couch it in much more appetising terms. Cameron had to resign. The PM would have had advice that the referendum may not be binding on the government before the referendum took place. He allowed it to happen regardless and now there is a challenge of it. He had to resign, partly to pave the way for someone else with cleaner hands to clean up the mess. You can see that having the same person foolishly call a referendum to preserve his own power, fall spectacularly in both the implementation and the result of the referendum, and then to purport to challenge the results instead of accepting and acting on them is just unsustainable.

  22. Funding for MS research in the UK where does it come from? EU, NHS, companies… has there been a post on this?The MS charities these are not government funded or get very little government funding is that correct? Such as MS Trust and MS Society not sure about MSIF.

    1. The matter is far larger than funding of medical research. Britain is a world leader and a respected one. That is rather rare these days.In respect to the MS Society, Trust etc. there are not for profit organizations. That does not mean they do not make revenues. What it means is that at the end of the year they show a no profit balance and contrary to what many a not for profit thinks, they are owned by the public trust.For example. You and I may establish MS Yankee Doodle Dandy as a not for profit organization. We have a mission statement and goals. Lets say they are to make sure every patient with MS has access to devices that help them live a better quality of life. Assistive spoons, forks, knives, cups, cooling vests etc.We take in donations, we may attempt go after grants or sponsorships. Our staff makes a salary. When it comes to what is taxable and not that can vary nation to nation. But when we go purchase 10,000 assistive spoons we may not pay sales tax for example. We are "tax exempt".While you and I may have built MS Yankee Doodle Dandy we DO NOT OWN IT. The Public owns it. It lives in what is called "The Public Trust" and via that is afforded many benefits such as tax exempt status as it is serving the public and in as much receives benefits of that work.It is supposed to have a board of directors and votes as to who is on that board of directors. It is supposed to notify the public of said votes.Again, the idea is if you and I who make MS Yankee Doodle Dandy are not doing a very good job at it that Board of Directors is what steers us. If the public deems that board of directors has not services the public trust (interests) well than they may be voted out and new blood comes in.That new blood might say, "We understand you created MS Yankee Doodle Dandy… But, your fired."Often many not for profits (NPO's) especially smaller ones try fly under the radar. You wont see engagement in activism such as for example when the UK Government wanted remove benefits from those who are disabled. The big guys speak up in activism and advocacy of the people they service. The smaller tends to not say a word. Why? Because of concerns (often, not always) that said government they are speaking up about might take a closer look at them. They may find a seeded board of directors. That is to say, people governing the not for profit that have direct interests, conflicts of interest, friends, family whatall that are governing something that is in fact owned by the public trust.MS Yankee Doodle Dandy is having cups made. They say on them "Support MS Yankee Doodle Dandy". We take in millions in donations. Your getting 100,000 salary as am I and our two other employee's. Your son's, wifes fathers brother is on the board of directors as is this one and that one.The public is generally unaware of any of this.The public is not made aware that every June 1st a vote happens to select that board of directors.

    2. IS the public interest being served? You and I start yelling about peoples disability rights and use our MS Yankee Doodle Dandy to do it. We yell about how the BRexit is going to hurt people with MS! We cause a stink!Next thing we know our history is being examined only to find that enormous portions of donations have went into everything from our salaries to the Van's we drive around everyday distributing devices to people and use privately. Atop that, the van's were purchased from a friend of someone who is on our board of directors.The mainstream not for profits are highly monitored and often employ very independent accounting, sometimes two.Its generally a strange misnomer when it comes to external entities donating towards frontline Not for Profits. For example, a Pharma co. may sponsor a operation. That money is highly targeted, its not for general usage. The targeting might be many things. Its HIGHLY monitored and normally independently monitored. The last thing either entity wants happen is being hit for impropriety.For example:MS Yankee Doodle Dandy, last thing we'd want is to have it be found that money from Pharma is influencing our direction. Be very very bad. The last thing Pharma wants is that to hit the media as their stock will fall like an asteroid not to mention investigations to follow.So… What people see and think is often not the reality in this stuff. On the other end of the spectrum those sponsorships can free other revenues up. If MS Yankee Doodle Dandy was paying for distribution of all the devices and that gets sponsored by whomever, BP Corporation then the revenue we were using is now freed up towards other purposing.Towards the effects on not for profits in such things as a BRExit. Anything can and does happen.Charities can ebb and wane and normally do based upon a nations economics. The more economic fear or realities of less in the hands of the people the more inclined the people are in respect to donating.Unfortunately, given real life circumstances when economics do tend get tight is also when frontline charities tend find the most need of their services.In economic upheaval such as the BRexit might result in, where populations are told, "Things will get better." But seemingly grow worse its common to see more unity occur in not for profits as well as the frontlines displaying to government those smaller one's that are "flying under the radar." In other words, they look at who is getting resources but flying under a board of directors type radar and have them audited upside and down.In an event such as the BRexit it is almost a guarantee that all smaller Not For Profits will see audit coming irregardless of frontline not for profits. Also commonplace in sized economic upheaval.

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