This campaign aims at obtaining an extension of the negotiating window defined by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which regulates the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
The UK-EU deal will be one of the most consequential decisions for the present generation and those to come. It will directly affect the millions of EU citizens living in the UK and the millions of UK citizens living in the EU, having difficulty in predicting ramifications for all 28 EU countries. Therefore, an extension of at least two years of Article 50 would have at least three major positive effects:
1) In the short term, it would allow the UK to participate in the May 2019 European elections. This would both allow EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens everywhere to participate in a fundamental step in the democratic process, participate in the discussion on the future of the continent and the decisions shaping its political direction for the next parliamentary term.
2) It would allow more time for a democratic discussion on the main issues of the negotiations, inside and outside the UK, and to reach a sensible agreement between the UK and the EU.
3) Finally, it would allow sufficient time to inform and eventually provide the people in the UK with the means to have the last word on the results of the negotiations.
The extension can be granted through a unanimous agreement of the EU council upon request of the UK government.
The campaign aims to achieve this goal primarily through a vote of the UK parliament in favor of the extension. This vote can be obtained through the combined pressure of a popular mobilization and parliamentary lobbying. The popular mobilization will be achieved through a public appeal and a parliamentary petition which will force the Parliament to discuss the issue. A targeted lobbying of pro- Remain and Leave MPs who are open to discussion will secure the vote in favor of the extension. At the same time, an effort will be made to prepare the ground for an EU-wide campaign, which would be triggered after a successful campaign in the UK.
The campaign will be launched by a public appeal in mid-September by a group of EU27 citizens resident in the UK, a group of UK citizens resident in EU27, and a group of UK citizens resident in the four nations of the kingdom who were between 16 and 18 years old at the time of the Brexit referendum, symbolizing all the categories of people prevented from voting in the Brexit referendum and affected by it. This would also help raise the voice of these three categories in the public debate in the following months.
The campaign will be coordinated by an ad hoc coordinating committee promoted by the DiEM25 thematic DSC called "Take Back Control of Your EU Rights" and including all signatories of the initial appeal. The campaign coordinating committee will then promote the appeal and the parliamentary petition with EU27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in EU27 advocacy groups, trade unions, political parties, celebrities and the general public. The campaign would also increase the awareness of the public on the subject of the EU elections, potentially increasing democratic participation should an extension be granted. Hopefully, this campaign would result in an increase in democratic participation in the EU elections, particularly among EU citizens who live in the UK.
The campaign will be led by volunteers and it will be crowd-funded to finance paid staff to run it at a national level.