Our Future Our Choice co-founder Femi Oluwole clashed with Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley after the journalist continually challenged the fact that membership to the Customs Union is not the same as membership to the European Union.
Oluwole, a law graduate with a special interest in EU law who is also a youth campaigner for a People’s Vote, appeared on GMB to talk about Brexit and a second referendum.
In his opinion, if there was a second referendum, he would pose a clear question: “Deal, versus membership of the EU.”
Theresa May’s latest iteration of a Brexit deal may have a whole-UK customs union with the EU, and Britain may not be allowed to exit the Irish backstop. This has caused much controversy, given the prime minister promised to take Britain out of the single market and the customs union back in January.
Oluwole argues that the deal, controversial though it may be, does technically take Britain out of the European Union. Richard Madeley disagreed.
Madeley argued that many people don't like the deal.
They don’t think that it does take us out of the EU because it keeps us in the customs union.
Femi was quick to respond - "The customs union is not the European union. Let’s be really clear. What you’ve just said is incorrect".
"Why do you think so many people that want to leave are against the deal?" Richard steam-rolled ahead.
Oluwole : "On the basis that we have less control than we do as an EU member".
It means we follow the rules without any say. Right now the UK has 73 of the 750 members of the European parliament giving us three times the voting power of the average EU country. To give that up in favour of following the rules with no say is less control.
However despite Oluwole's clear points, Richard refused to yield: "The point of the original referendum was that it did offer people a straight forward binary choice. Your referendum question appears to me to manipulate the vote".
Femi was adamant.
As I’ve just explained, that deal takes us out of the EU. It fulfils the referendum mandate. The customs union is not the European Union. Let’s be clear on that.
Richard doubled down on his argument. "The majority of people who voted leave don’t agree with you".
Femi, looking slightly exasperated at this point, threw back: "It’s a bad deal but it fulfils the mandate and 100 per cent takes us out of the EU".
"Well, a lot of people say it’s not 100 per cent. Just saying it, doesn’t make it so," Richard responded.
Law literally says so, Femi insisted.
No, no, no. Law says it makes it so. As in I literally studied EU law. We’d be out of the European Union. It is literally an exit deal.