First of all, I would like to thank you all for your continued support of and contributions to the group. We would not exist without you!

In this blog post, I was going to talk about forming local groups but there is another issue which has arisen in the group that I feel I need to address urgently: party politics. I have already mentioned on several occasions that this group has grown beyond my wildest expectations and that I’m amazed by the broad cross-section of society that has engaged in discussion on here. However, such rapid growth and so many members have presented us with a wide range of challenges. Right from the beginning, I said that I wanted this group to be about fighting Brexit from a cross-party perspective. This issue is bigger than any one political party or political leader. It is an issue which unites many of us behind a common goal irrespective of our age, level of education, hometown or indeed our political colours. Since setting up this group, I have had conversations with voters, members, councillors, MPs and MEPs from virtually all of the major political parties (guess which one I haven’t had much contact with?) and what we want to achieve is broadly speaking the same. We would ideally like to remain in the EU or, failing that, retain the same rights we currently enjoy as EU citizens.

Contrary to what some people may believe, the admin team at “48andBeyond” broadly reflects the political diversity of our members. We know that fighting against Brexit is an inherently political issue but urge you all to express your views in a respectful way which helps further our cause. Since starting the group we have relaxed our policy on party politics and members are now welcome to have non-partisan, reasonable political debate as long as they post comments which are relevant to the UK/EU and adhere to our rules. I am sure there are more appropriate groups in which to discuss internal party politics or leadership battles than ours, and I encourage you to seek these out while not abandoning us of course!

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated team of moderators who are all volunteers and are juggling their work in the group with their professional and family commitments. They help keep discussions in the group relevant and free flowing; no easy task for a group with 46,000 members. If this group has taught us anything, it is that you cannot please everyone. Our moderators get criticised for both overmoderating and not intervening enough. As a group, we have regular discussions about how much to intervene and have come up with guidelines which moderators are to abide by.  As a general rule, original posts that do not explicitly relate to the UK/EU issue will be deleted and comments will be turned off where conversation descends into party political sniping

As the founder of the group, I will not accept any abusive comments made towards the moderators. They are giving up their free time to facilitate your discussions about Brexit and are following guidelines which have been agreed by the entire admin team. If you have any specific complaints about moderation, please e-mail us at admin@48andbeyond.com.

Once again, thank you for your continued support!