Pro-EU campaigners rallying on Europe Day in Cambridge last MayLouis Ashworth

CUSU Council have voted for CUSU to endorse holding a ‘People’s Vote’ on the deal reached between the UK and the European Union, prior to Britain leaving the EU. The motion passed with 23 votes in favour, with eight votes against and nine abstentions, following a short debate.

The motion called for CUSU to officially endorse holding a referendum on the final Brexit deal, to lobby for the referendum to include an option to remain within the EU, and to affiliate the student union with campaigns including the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign and ‘For Our Future’s Sake’ “to bring about such a referendum”.

The debate at Council revolved around whether voting members believed it was Council’s role to take a stance on national political policy, directed outside of the University.

Hallam contested this, and said it “slightly misunderstands the role of what Council is here to do”. He said that Brexit would be “one of these things that does really impact everyone”, and therefore in CUSU’s remit to have a stance on.

During the debate, the Magdalene JCR Vice-President said that when he consulted his JCR on the motion, he “didn’t have a single person who didn’t have a viewpoint that it wasn’t for CUSU to take a stance on, regardless of their opinions on the second referendum”.

The vote on the motion had been delayed in order to allow college JCRs to consult their members on how to vote. The motion was also amended at last CUSU Council to remove a clause which called for CUSU to lobby for the UK to remain a member of the Single Market and Customs Union.


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Students write open letter calling for CUSU to support ‘people’s vote’ on final Brexit deal

Both the Graduate Union (GU) and CUSU International Students’ Campaign (iCUSU) have previously thrown their support behind a referendum, signing an open letter in May organised by anti-Brexit group For our Future’s Sake (FFS). The GU and iCUSU executive committees both took the decisions without a vote similar to this current one.

The motion follows the penning of a letter by Barton-Singer and Hallam, to support a ‘People’s Vote’ on the deal reached between the UK and the EU. The letter has been co-signed by For Our Future’s Sake, Our Future Our Choice Cambridge, Cambridge University Liberal Association (CULA), Cambridge Student Democrats, and Cambridge Stays.

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