Minutes from our post-Brexit meeting on 27 June 2016

Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes
Clermiston Inn, 7.30pm Mon 27 June 2016

  1. Ian Grant opened the meeting by welcoming everybody, noting that it was scheduled within 3 days of a Brexit vote, to discuss the implications for Scotland, the Yes movement and particularly our own group.
  2. Gerry Mulvenna posted a video Livestream broadcast for the benefit of people who couldn’t make the meeting. Apologies about the level of background noise – we’ll meet in the function room next time!
  3. There were 43 attendees. Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.
  4. Apologies: Barry Haniford, Pauline Ward, Grahame Case
  5. Toni Giugliano gave an overview of the situation, starting with a 74% Remain vote in Edinburgh, and a Remain vote in every single constituency in Scotland. In contrast, England and Wales voted Leave, so there is a significant and material change to Scotland’s situation. The Leave side has no plan, and Nicola is the only UK politician who has responded responsibly and with her usual good common sense. She is correct in exploring all options to keep Scotland in the EU – if it cannot be done, we have a mandate for IndyRef2. Toni has sampled 4 parts of the local area, and found staunch support for Remain – so we have support even in Unionist areas. He proposes that if IndyRef2 happens, the question should be “Should Scotland remain in the EU as an independent country?” The choice between the EU union and the UK union (with the most right-wing Conservative government ever), should ensure a positive response.
  6. Ian opened the floor to debate, with the following subjects raised:
    1. Timing – Toni suggested that it should be closer to the 2-year period during which Article 50 is triggered and negotiations take place between the UK and EU. We should give it time for people to see that the Leave campaign is not the solution it was described as, and to give us time to get our position clarified
      on EU entry, currency, pensions etc.
    2. Currency – it was suggested that all the European countries might revert to their own currency. We have set up a Currency group (with Andy Anderson leading) to discuss options and educate ourselves in this area.  Anyone who wants to join should email Bob Glen
    3. Similarly, we have a leader for a Media and Broadcasting group, and anyone who wants to lead or join a group on the Economy, Land Reform or any other subject should email Bob Glen
    4. Authority – Brexit gives us a mandate, and Westminster could not democratically refuse IndyRef2 – this has already been conceded by David Cameron (though not by the incoming leaders).
    5. Campaigning – we should start campaigning as soon as possible – but initially as a listening campaign, probably by surveys to ask people for their views, and how we can help them. A database might be needed to support this. We could distribute a leaflet putting the case for independence in the context of the EU, and street stalls have a role. Social media is crucial, but posters (e.g. in bus stops) are important for older people who do not access social media.
    6. The importance of grassroots opinion was emphasised – we propose to do this through our discussion groups and our membership of the National Yes Registry. We should seek cross-party and non-party support and expertise – a Yes Edinburgh meeting has been proposed for 21 July, and the meeting agreed we should participate. Interested participants should email Bob Glen.
    7. Money is crucial to run a campaign – for leaflet production, and merchandise acquisition for street stalls (flags, buttons, balloons, pens etc). We have inquired about how other Yes groups raise funds and will come back to the meeting with proposals (it was noted that subscriptions are not favoured). We agreed on a crowdfunder for £2000. We also need to use modern technology to facilitate donations – a contribute facility was suggested on the website (Paypal?).
    8. Tony Sutton suggested that we form a strategy group, and volunteered to head this up. He will draft an initial strategy, and we will email it to everybody in time for the 1 August meeting.
    9. Will there be an early Westminster election? It would not be a surprise if one was called this year.
    10. As the UK is a parliamentary democracy, and Leave does not command a majority among MPs, there may be backtracking on Brexit, and delays in triggering Article 50.
  7. Next meeting: Tue 2 August 2016, Newliston Arms function room, 7.30pm Bob Glen
  8. AGM: Mon 13 October 2016, Clermiston Inn, 7.30pm Bob Glen
  9. AOCB
    1. A collection was open, and £178 was donated and collected for books (£23.34 of which has to be remitted to Andy Anderson), flags,  i-Scot magazines and Wee Black Books – many thanks for your generosity, and to Ken McDonald for copies of i-Scot. This will ensure that we can meet our stipend to the National body.
    2. Please subscribe to the mailing list on our website, Like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and find useful articles and comments on the Yes liaison Forum.

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