Beware of fair-weather friends pushing the Party into an untenable position.
The Labour members and supporters who feel the Labour party should be promoting a second referendum must realise that at this point in time a second referendum is the worst of all options for the Labour Party.
Ignoring the fact a second referendum is no guarantee of delivering the results any camp would be happy with Remain or Leave. The only real result would be prolonging this Tory Government and undermining both democracy and Jeremy Corbyn, along the way losing vast amounts of Labour supporters and even members.
Yes, I have seen the arguments that we would pick up remain supporters but let’s be frank, they are and will always be fair-weather friends, soon to depart back to the Lib Dems or Greens once they get their way which as always been to overturn the referendum result.
According to the Guardian who say they have contacted several senior shadow ministers from constituencies that voted to leave the EU who say they would consider their positions if Corbyn conceded to pressure to back a second referendum.
One said: “I would be in a really difficult position if we backed a second referendum. I would have little choice but to stand down if I was to have any hope of retaining my seat and representing my constituents.”
Another said they had made their views clear to Corbyn’s office and the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer.
“I would feel deeply uncomfortable about going into a people’s vote at this stage. Given all the commitments that we made in the general election, we have to carry them out. This concept of blocking Brexit is wrong and would break a link with millions of our traditional voters who expect us to keep our word,” the shadow minister said.
Anti-Brexit campaign group Labour for a People’s Vote published a list of 71 Labour MPs who support its cause on Wednesday and claimed many more were privately supportive. (It is noteworthy that these 71 MP’s consist of 71 of the MP’s that initially started the split and coup within the Labour Party PLP.)
Several shadow cabinet ministers, including the Labour chair, Ian Lavery, and the shadow justice secretary, Richard Burgon, are also sceptical, believing the party’s first priority must be to keep up the pressure for a general election.
Lavery made a passionate intervention against a new referendum at last week’s shadow cabinet meeting. Len McCluskey, the general secretary of the Unite trade union, has also said it would be a “betrayal” to seek to reverse the 2016 result.
Gloria De Piero, the shadow justice minister, told the Guardian she was not in favour of a second referendum. “I stood on a manifesto that promised to respect the referendum result,” she said
Other shadow cabinet ministers, including the deputy Labour leader, Tom Watson, and the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, are more sympathetic towards a second referendum. Again noteworthy that Diane Abbott said last night on question time:
People should be careful of what they wish for!”
“In my view and I voted remain! If we had a people’s vote tomorrow, leave would win again and you would just have a lot of very angry leaver voters. -Diane Abbott
Lucy Powell, the MP for Manchester Central, said that with no agreed Brexit deal in place, it was unclear what options would be offered on a second referendum – and referendums were the wrong way to resolve the complex situation.
“I think they’re terrible ways to make rational decisions,” she said. “And there’s a swathe of the public who would never forgive us.”
At a meeting in Hastings, East Sussex, Corbyn remained uncommitted on the idea of a second referendum, saying again that it remained one of several options if an election did not happen.
There is a good reason why Corbyn is steering clear of a second referendum
A second referendum would take more than a year to organise, according to civil service guidance shown to MPs holding talks with Theresa May and senior ministers.
The one-page document published by the Daily Telegraph sets out the stages required to mount another poll in bullet-point form.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said that the “illustrative” paper had been drawn up “to inform discussions” and stressed that it remained government policy that no referendum would be held.
A second referendum would be just as divisive as the first if not more so!
If an extension on the leaving date was managed would that mean we would field MEP’s in the EU elections?
If we were to do that this again would create a massive divide we would see Leave-supporting candidates backed by leave supporting voters and ‘vis a versa’.
I don’t think I would be going out on a limb to suggest if that is the case you would see UKIP placing Tommy Robinson as an MEP candidate. This would elevate his platform a prospect most people would not like to see.
Read the small print.
Some members and supporters are referring to the Labour Party conference composite motion of 2018 suggesting that the Party is ignoring the policy set out by the members in their pursuit of a second referendum. It has been suggested that the promise of a member lead Party has fallen flat on its first hurdle, that the no-confidence vote has been tried and a General election is not forthcoming therefore the next step is a second referendum.
Party members must realise that the pursuit for a general election is not over or that that one vote of no confidence in the Government was just the prelude to what will be a sustained attack on the ‘weak and wobbly’ May government.
The composite motion was always going to be a bad motion bringing the Party into conflict with not only remain voters but obviously its own leave supporters but it also renegades on the previous promises of respecting the result of the referendum.
Promises made by frontbenchers like Keir Starmer in his emotionally packed speech to Parliament after the referendum expressly stating we respect the result of the Referendum.
Remainers must realise that a second referendum unless called for by the Tory Party would see Labour lose support on a scale that would be catastrophic and in comparison to the loss of support we witnessed in Scotland after the Scottish referendum. The Leave supporting Labour Heartlands would find it hard to forgive any Party that ignores their vote to leave the EU let alone the Labour Party of whom most Labour constituencies voted to leave the EU.
A second referendum is an option not a policy
Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.
Below is the full text of the composite motion on Brexit passed by Labour conference 2018. The key pledge is that Labour vows to “support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote” should it not be able to secure a general election.
Conference welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s determined efforts to hold the Tories to account for their disastrous negotiations. Conference accepts that the public voted to leave the EU, but when people voted to ‘take back control’ they were not voting for fewer rights, economic chaos or to risk jobs. Conference notes the warning made by Jaguar Land Rover on 11.9.18, that without the right deal in place, tens of thousands of jobs there would be put at risk.
Conference notes that workers in industries across the economy in ports, food, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, energy, chemicals, in our public services and beyond are worried about the impact of a hard Brexit on livelihoods and communities.
Conference believes we need a relationship with the EU that guarantees full participation in the Single Market. The Brexit deal being pursued by Theresa May is a threat to jobs, freedom of movement, peace in Northern Ireland and the NHS. Tory Brexit means a future of dodgy trade deals and American-style deregulation, undermining our rights, freedoms and prosperity. This binds the hands of future Labour governments, making it much harder for us to deliver on our promises. Conference notes Labour has set six robust tests for the final Brexit deal. Conference believes Labour MPs must vote against any Tory deal failing to meet these tests in full.
Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal outcome. Conference notes that when trade unions have a mandate to negotiate a deal for their members, the final deal is accepted or rejected by the membership. Conference does not believe that such important negotiations should be left to government ministers who are more concerned with self-preservation and ideology than household bills and wages.
Stagnant wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis are being exacerbated by the government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense, and not immigration. Conference declares solidarity and common cause with all progressive and socialist forces confronting the rising tide of neo-fascism, xenophobia, nationalism and right wing populism in Europe.
Conference resolves to reaffirm the Labour Party’s commitment to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 including no hard border in Ireland.
Conference believes that there is no satisfactory technological solution that is compliant with the Good Friday Agreement and resolves to oppose any Brexit deal that would see the restoration of a border on the island of Ireland in any form for goods, services or people.
Should Parliament vote down a Tory Brexit deal or the talks end in no-deal, Conference believes this would constitute a loss of confidence in the Government. In these circumstances, the best outcome for the country is an immediate General Election that can sweep the Tories from power.
If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote. If the Government is confident in negotiating a deal that working people, our economy and communities will benefit from they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public.
This should be the first step in a Europe-wide struggle for levelling-up of living standards, rights and services and democratisation of European institutions Labour will form a radical government; taxing the rich to fund better public services, expanding common ownership, abolishing anti-union laws and engaging in massive public investment.
End of the composite motion.
The possibility of a referendum is very slim but has some have suggested the odds go up is Corbyn and Labour back a referendum. Polls show if that was the case and Labour are seen to instigate a second referendum they would be punished at the polls in any subsequent General election.
Nobody is naive enough to think that if this to happen Jeremy Corbyn could continue as Labour Party leader. We all know that part and parcel of the Mandelson, Rudd, Chucka lead People’s vote is to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the Leadership and return the Party back to the New Labour default of the other Tory Party and away from its traditional socialist values.
The best and only course for the Labour Party is to continually wear down May and her Government until we force a general election.