• Patrick Cox

To beat the Tories back a #PeoplesVote, Labour

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Corbyn wants to beat the Tories. The way to do that is to back a vote on the terms of May's Brexit deal.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn giving an interview with the sea behind him
Jeremy Corbyn does not want to back a second referendum on EU membership

I understand Jeremy Corbyn's unwillingness to seek nothing less than a general election. He wants his party to be in government and therefore keeps pushing May to resign. Unfortunately that won't work. Ministers or Prime Ministers don't resign just because you keep telling them to. Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn thinks badgering the government about an election is pressure; it's not. Governments fall when there is a reason which is used by others - the public, the press or other politicians - to create political leverage.

What real world reason is there that could be used to apply such leverage against May right now? Obviously it's Brexit and the government's failures in relation to it.

The government has been failing on Brexit for months (years!). Simply pointing this out hasn't made May resign so far, and won't have that effect in the future. There has to be a political lightening rod to which the ignomony of these failures will be attracted. Only then will the general, grinding, background incompetence break through into the wider public consciousness. So, what is that lightning rod?

Is it the meaningful vote coming up in parliament? Yes, and no. May might put her plan before parliament and not have the votes to get it through. If she loses that's a huge blow to her standing and she would likely resign. But the govt would not fall. Without presenting an alternative policy (an opposition to the proposition) Labour won't benefit from a Tory failure in parliament. May's resignation could very easily just become another chapter of Tory infighting, in the form of a Conservative leadership election

This is especially true while the Labour front bench (and Corbyn in particular) are essentially advocating government policy by supporting some form of Brexit. So what is the way out of this impasse? Simply, to propose an alternative and have opposition in parliament coalesce around it.

The alternatives to the government line on Brexit are few in number. It's clear by now that no deal is as good as the one we have within the EU at present. Labour could and should advocate strongly for a #peoplesvote. What's more it's actually in their interest.

It is inconceivable that May, or the Tories generally, could lose a referendum on the terms and stay in government. A general election would surely follow and Labour, if campaigning for the Remain option, would collect the spoils, in the event of a victory (which I'm assuming)

So, to sum up: shortest route to government is backing a #peoplesvote. Easy.


#Brexit #Labour #LabourParty #Corbyn #PeoplesVote #FinalSay #StopBrexit #EU #WaithdrawalAgreement #UKnews #UKpolitics #UKcurrentaffairs #labour #May

Want to get these blog posts to your inbox?

Scroll to the bottom of the page and subscribe.


Recent Posts

See All