Liverpool City Region Mayoral candidate, Carl Cashman, joined citizens in the Walton area of the city on 12th March to show their support for the national `Stop the Silence’ campaign. Three billboards in Merseyside promote the message that Government and Parliament are not listening to the people of the UK. Whether they voted to remain or leave the EU in the referendum, they did not vote for price hikes, hate crimes or leaving the single market. At both local and national level, concerned groups have worked together to provide both information and platforms of discussion about the EU and the political developments around Brexit.
Carl Cashman said, “Democracy is Parliament listening to the concerns of the people it represents. Liverpool and the rest of the UK are not playing-chips in a game of poker to be won or lost. We want to know what the Government has planned and how our futures will be affected. Silencing us on the premise of giving Prime Minister May maximum ability to negotiate a Brexit deal with Europe is destructive to our democracy and to our British traditions.”
Liverpool and the City Region are beneficiaries of large amounts of EU funding. This has been used to diversify its economy to provide jobs, fund major projects and increase the standard of living for its residents. The current Conservative Government is disingenuous in its intentions to create a “Northern Powerhouse”. Disregard for the needs of the region is demonstrated by its favouritism towards Tory voting areas in the South of England through attempted diversion of EU funding from Northern cities  and private agreements with the Surrey council .
‘Stop the Silence’ is a national campaign with almost a hundred locations across the country that will ensure that the message can be seen by over ten million people. In addition to the billboards, powerful artwork and an emotive video are available on the ‘Stop the Silence’ campaign’s website, YouTube and Facebook sites. ‘Stop the Silence’ was crowdfunded by over 3,500 donors, raising £70,000 in just two weeks.
The key messages of the campaign are:
- Ordinary people, regardless of how they voted in the Referendum, are being excluded from the ongoing Brexit debate.
- Many feel intimidated by the tone and manner of the debate and are afraid to speak out.
- Those that are brave enough to speak out feel that no one is listening.
Discussions about Brexit, its practicalities and consequences will not stop with the Article 50 notification. They are now more important than ever. Refusing to be silenced, many people from all over Merseyside and the Wirral will be going all the way to Parliament, joining the ‘Unite for Europe’ National March on the Saturday 25th of March in London .
The `Stop the Silence´ campaign is promoted locally by members of three Merseyside groups: `Liverpool for Europe´, `European Movement Merseyside´ and `Southport for Europe´.
 “Merseyside to miss out on €100m EU cash after Supreme Court rejects Liverpool council appeal”, Liverpool Echo, 25th March 2015, http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyside-miss-out-100m-eu-8718067
”Surrey council leader ‘had gentleman’s agreement’ with ministers”, The Guardian, 7th March 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/07/surrey-council-leader-had-gentlemans-agreement-with-ministers
Stop the Silence website – http://www.stopthesilence.co.uk/
Stop the Silence billboard locations – http://www.stopthesilence.co.uk/sample-page/