CAN Remain was a Crewe & Nantwich grassroots pro-EU and pro Second Referendum campaign opposed to Brexit.
This website provides a summary of some of our key activities. For more, you can look back on Twitter.
We began CAN Remain to try and encourage Laura Smith to back a Second Referendum. From her campaign ahead of the General Election on December 12th, we now believe that – in line with the Labour manifesto – she does.
In October we announced that we believed "a vote for Laura is a vote for Leave". We no longer think this is the case, and that for those who signed up to our Brexitometer, her Brexit position is now not a reason to withhold votes.
Full statement here.
Labour's manifesto launched today states "a Labour government will secure a sensible deal... [and] put that deal to a public vote alongside the option to remain."
Having voted against a Second Referendum twice before, Laura Smith has said she will back this policy in private emails and a Reuters article, but we have yet to hear or see it directly in public.
In 2017 we voted for Laura Smith enthusiastically. We hoped she, like Labour, would shift on Brexit. She hasn't – and won't. Despite our efforts, Laura declined to engage with our campaign or even acknowledge its existence.
So, at a future election, we will honour the pledge we and many others made on our Brexitometer, and vote Remain. more
We launched CAN Remain in April 2019 with an online Brexitometer where constituents pledged to withhold their vote for Laura Smith, unless our pro-Leave Labour MP changed her stance of being opposed to a Second Referendum.
We overtook Laura's majority of 48 in under a week, and ultimately obtained 243 supporters before ending it. During this time, we contacted Laura three times, but received no response.
Our last street stall was held in Nantwich and once again saw us sharing conversations with Remainers and Leavers, and adding loads of stickers to our Brexitometer. This time Leavers were apathetic.
As ever, we were joined by our colleagues from European Movement Macclesfield, and for the second time by Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate Matthew Theobald.
In September we crossed the border (thanks to our FoM rights...!) to attend the Sandbach rally organised by Congleton Labour, who joined with nearby Labour colleagues (though none from Crewe & Nantwich) to give voice to a wide range of concerns around Brexit. EU flags and Labour banners waved as chants and speeches railed against our new PM and No Deal. After, it was good to make our pro-Remain case to some Labour people keen to listen.
We're sad our MP ignores Remainers here, so with support from friends across Cheshire, we sent a message to Laura Smith at Parliament, asking her to back Labour policy and distance herself from Boris Johnson – and which we hoped would be too big to ignore!
Since being printed, we were joined by other pro-EU groups from across the entire North West. more
In June, our Brexitometer passed 100 stickers. To mark this, we emailed Laura a second time to offer goodwill and again ask for a meeting.
We also outlined our experiences on street stalls and expressed our disappointment that Laura had declined to support Labour MEPs during the European Elections.
You can read the email here.
Ahead of the European Elections, we held a street stall in Crewe. It was very busy with pro-Brexit groups and Tommy Robinson supporters also in town.
Laura Smith and the local Labour party declined to campaign during the elections, but we met lots of passionate Remainers, including Diane and Philippe who kindly bought us some doughnuts!