A general election tactical voting campaign set up by Brexit-opponent Gina Miller has crowd-funded more than £150,000 in just one day.
The campaign will support parliamentary candidates who want to see the outcome of the Brexit negotiations put to a “full and free vote” before being signed off by the government.
Promoting the campaign on crowdsourcing website GoFundMe, Miller insisted that the British people are “being forced into an Extreme Brexit that is not in Britain’s best interests”, explaining that she has set up the campaign to back candidates who will actively campaign for a final vote on the outcome of negotiations.
She said she wanted to support candidates in the general election who will “fight to make the Brexit deal process transparent, honest and democratic,” and that funds will be used to help supporters “tour marginal seats to make sure the next Government has no mandate to destroy our rights and our relationship with Europe”.
Miller rose to prominence in recent months thanks to a successful legal challenge which forced the government to seek permission from Parliament before invoking Article 50 and starting the Brexit process. Liberal and Labour Lords used the Bill’s passage through Parliament to try to force the government to put the results of the Brexit negotiations to a further vote before being agreed to.
Although the Lords were unsuccessful in that bid, Miller hopes that by backing candidates in the general election who want to see the Brexit deal put to a vote, a so-called ‘hard Brexit’ can be avoided.
The campaign, Best for Britain, will not support any particular political party but instead seeks to rally support behind any candidate that shared her views on Brexit, Miller told the Guardian
“We want to build the biggest tactical voting effort in UK history to ensure that candidates across the country that promise to do what’s best for Britain in the Brexit process get the extra support they need to win,” she said.
“If the deal the next government negotiates doesn’t match up to our current terms, MPs should do what’s best for Britain and reject it. We will be asking MPs to pledge to keep an open mind and not be bullied into giving the next government a blank cheque for the final deal.”
Along with other anti-Brexit campaigners, Miller believes that tight timetable for the surprise snap general election is designed to “crush” Brexit opponents, and that campaigners must therefore be willing to adapt. “There isn’t time to organise a formal progressive alliance,” she said. “We have to do what we can in the time available. We need to re-energise people about the importance of voting tactically.”
The group has already held informal talks with party leaders over their Brexit policies, but has made it clear that endorsements will be of individuals, not their leaders. Millar indicated that she is prepared to “bypass the hierarchy of the parties” if required because “there is quite a lot of infighting and internal politics”.
Campaign director Eloise Todd said: “We will support different parties and independents, and organisations working in this space.
“We are not party political. We stand for democracy in this country and a constitution that respects proper balance of powers and doesn’t railroad the country into an extreme Brexit.”
The campaign will officially launch next week.