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Dec 13th, 2017

Delegated Powers: We won!

By Becca McCarthy

This is a special moment. We’ve been working on this together for months. And yesterday – finally – Theresa May backed down. She’s dropped her plan to give herself the power to rewrite UK laws behind closed doors after Brexit. [1]

I hope you feel proud of the role you played in this. Hundreds of thousands of us signed the petition. [2] We emailed, visited and tweeted our MPs. We submitted evidence to committees in parliament. [3] We chipped in and spoke up whenever we could. It wasn’t easy, and we didn’t succeed overnight. But in the end, it worked.

We came together in our thousands because we didn’t want Theresa May, or any future prime minister, to sidestep parliament. We didn’t want to swap murky backroom deals in Brussels for more of the same in Westminster after Brexit.

For me, moments like this are why I love being part of 38 Degrees. We’re independent. We’re people-powered. We’re committed to democracy. And most importantly, we win.

So to celebrate this big breakthrough, I wanted to ask you to consider setting up a regular donation to 38 Degrees. Here’s why…

Every December 38 Degrees does a Christmas appeal for donations, so we can make a plan for the year ahead. This time last year, thousands of people just like you stepped up with a donation – and if they hadn’t, we probably wouldn’t be celebrating this success today. Without donations to pay for the website, the experts, the staff team, we wouldn’t be able to take on Theresa May and win.

So would you be willing to give a regular donation for the year ahead? 2018 is not going to be easy. We’ve seen how much work it takes to block Theresa May’s attempts to shut the public out of Brexit. We need a huge people-powered effort to save the NHS in the face of a funding shortfalls and creeping privatisation. [4] And we still haven’t managed to prevent cuts to benefits like Universal Credit. [5] Without more donations, in the face of such a big set of challenges, 38 Degrees will have to scale back our plans.

So, please will you consider chipping in a few pounds each week in 2018, so we can take on the fights that matter?


Theresa May’s team tried every trick in the book to try and steamroller her plan through: delaying big debates, pushing back votes, and piling enormous pressure on MPs to fall into line. [6] Together, we matched them at every turn:

  • A staggering 380,0000 of us signed the petition, which was delivered to every MP
  • Thousands of us helped submit evidence to important committees of MPs and Lords.
  • Thousands more of us emailed our MPs to ask them to back changes to Theresa May’s plan
  • We spread the word all over the internet through viral Facebook videos and crowd-funded adverts.
  • Hundreds of us met with our MPs face to face, to explain to them why we were worried about the plan.

Our opponents always have more money than we do. We always win by making our donations go a really long way. But whilst the 38 Degrees people-powered way of campaigning is cheap, it isn’t free. Without enough donations to fund our people-powered tactics, we can’t achieve anything.


[1] Evening Standard: Ministers give in to rebels on Henry VIII powers:
[2] 38 Degrees: Give the public and parliament more say on new laws:
[3] Together, we submitted evidence to the Procedure Committee’s inquiry into Theresa May’s plan. You can see their full report here:
[4] Guardian: NHS England accused of hiding hospitals’ winter crisis alert figures:
[5] The Guardian: Universal credit helpline closure could hit poorest over Xmas, says MP: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/29/universal-credit-helplines-festive-closure-could-mean-destitution-says-mp
[6] The Independent: Brexit bill delayed over Government fears it would be defeated in Commons revolt:
Telegraph: Government’s flagship Brexit Bill ‘faces weeks of delays’ over fears Tory rebels could vote against it:

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