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Grassroots groups appeal to President Tusk for Article 50 extension to hold referendum

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Peter Gilbey


A long extension to Article 50 – sufficient to enable a People’s Vote to be held – has been demanded by grassroots pro-EU groups in a letter to the European President Donald Tusk.

Wales for Europe, representing local groups across Wales, has joined with more than 100 other UK groups under the Grassroots for Europe banner, in the letter to President Tusk. Grassroots for Europe is a network of more than 170 pro-EU groups across the UK. 

The letter says a UK departure from the EU on 12 April would be “a forced exit”. It also rejects an extension to 22 May. Instead, it wants an extension to the end of this year or even next year.

The letter says: “We support an extension which binds in the requirement for a new event or political process and is of sufficient length to enable the matter to be put to the people, with an option to remain in the EU.

“We believe the earliest opportunity to hold a new vote will be mid-autumn this year. We understand that this means running the European Parliament elections. We support this and we appeal to you to safeguard our right to representation.

“We represent a large and passionate pro-EU movement in towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are campaigning on the front line against dark forces that seek to disrupt democracy in Europe. We believe that our interests coincide with those of Europe. And we believe we can win,” it adds.

Chair of Wales for Europe, Geraint Talfan Davies, said: “Our groups in Wales have given full backing to this letter. We believe that President Tusk is well disposed to the case for an extension to Article 50, but it is up to our Parliament to come together to make a case for using that extension positively. The present chaos in Parliament means the issue has to be put back to the people.”

Richard Wilson, Chair of Grassroots for Europe said: “The UK is in the frontline in the fight against far-right extremism in Europe. A victory for us against Brexit could mark the turning of the tide and embolden democratic forces Europe.”


Peter Frederick Gilbey, Director, Wales for Europe

Geraint Talfan Davies, Chair, Wales for Europe