Split appears among Labour ‘centrists’ as Kinnock condemns “people’s vote” as “divisive”

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Stephen Kinnock speaking to BBC News

A major split among so-called ‘centrists’ has opened up this afternoon after comments by right-wing Labour MP Stephen Kinnock in which he condemned a second referendum – euphemistically referred to by its supporters as a “people’s vote” (PV) – and put forward an alternative that would see the UK leave the EU on ‘Norway plus’ terms, rather than remaining in the EU, as supporters of PV hope.

Kinnock told BBC News that May’s deal is as good as doomed, that he hoped to push a ‘Norway Plus’ option and had a number of Tory MPs onside as well as Labour – and he dismissed the option of a PV as ‘very divisive’:

Tory MP George Freeman then told BBC News that several Labour MPs – as he himself also was – were backing Kinnock’s plan, including Caroline Flint. Flint had previously hinted that she might support May’s deal.

Tory MPs backing it or favourably inclined toward it include, according to the BBC, Amber Rudd and Michael Gove.

Stephen Kinnock confirmed to the SKWAWKBOX last week that he intended to vote against May’s deal.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

‘Norway Plus’ is not, of course, a new idea – it was one of the options discussed during the referendum campaign and its aftermath.

But the peeling away of Kinnock and others from any perceived support for PV toward a ‘Norway Plus’ status outside the EU is a clear split among centrists, who have previously fallen into a main ‘stop Brexit’/PV camp and one inclined to back any deal for fear of offending Labour leave voters in ‘northern heartland’ seats.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn continues to steer a calm course of clear opposition to May’s feeble excuse for a Brexit deal and to push for the general election that represents British people’s most realistic hope of achieving a sensible Brexit – one led by a Labour government.


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  1. Please don’t mimic the MSM in trying to make soup out of thin gruel.

    There are various disagreements over the way forward right across the Labour PLP spectrum – a testament to a confused policy.

    I’m no fan of Kinnock and his ilk, and a consistent supporter of Corbyn – but the the biggest split currently within the Party is between the leadership and the membership over the lack of a clear strategy over Brexit, and the need to oppose it.

    Everything else is a default to second best.

    1. As I understand it the Labour position is to oppose Theresa’s deal. She doesn’t have the numbers. That’s what counts now. Funnily enough, the Sun is the only paper that is against her. And the Times says that to oppose her means a vote for a second ref. So bring on the second ref.

  2. I watched today’s statement in the commons and found it deeply depressing to see Labour MP’s one after another calling for a “People’s Vote” as if that’s going to solve the problems our society faces. Kinnock’s Norway solution is as half baked as those who are proposing PV. We need a Labour Government not another referendum that will provide more upheaval than before. Those who promote PV say it’s the most democratic way of deciding the issue, we’ll we had one decision they didn’t like so they want to upturn the democratic result for one they do like. No chance! There has to be a negotiated settlement, we won’t get everything we want but that’s how negotiations go.

  3. We only need one informed referendum on Brexit, now we know

    how complex it is,
    the divorce bill,
    there is no NHS dividend,
    in fact there will probably be less money for public services,
    talk of Turkey joining the EU is BS
    and for Lexiters nearly all of Labours manifesto could be accommodated under current EU rules.

    Any honest referendum would have been decisive in favour of Remain the first time round.

    1. Did any of those things convince you to vote Brexit? Because they certainly didn’t sway anyone I know who did. Your arrogance of thinking you know exactly why people voted Brexit, why they were fooled, how easily gulled they were are typical of middle class remoaners. It stinks.

      1. Whilst proudly proclaiming that you have the true working class insight into the Brexit vote you arrogantly accuse ‘jrchappell’ of arrogance but neglect to give us any insight whatsoever into why you think people voted Brexit.

        Pot calling kettle etc

  4. Murdoch’s Sun is totally right for the wrong reasons. It is opposing May’s deal, but prefers No Deal. The Times says that to not back the deal is to allow a second referendum. The numbers aren’t there for May’s deal so let’s contemplate GE or 2nd Ref.

  5. We need both a Labour government and the final say on anything they negotiate with the EU.

  6. Calling something ‘divisive’ in this two-year-long clusterfuck is like calling that long, four-eyed, sneering streak of Eton piss a Tory – correct but not exactly insightful.
    I think we’re entitled to expect more from our MPs than statements of the blindingly bleedin’ obvious.

    As for us – proclaiming our left wing credentials while condemning Corbyn and other members for being wrong/stupid/treasonous on Brexit is what’s divisive.

    Consider where we’d be now if Jeremy had been PM and there’d been no referendum.
    We’d be in the EU negotiating away, debating away or ignoring their anti-democratic restrictions on public ownership while we reverse austerity and invest in infrastructure, health, housing and jobs at home – and saving the EU from the dead hand of neoliberalism.

    We’d probably still be arguing the toss about something – probably something else over which we have no control – but at least it wouldn’t be fucking Brexit.

    I think we should just back Jeremy for a bit and see where that gets us.

  7. Is there any correlation between those Labour MPs who are demanding a 2nd ‘Loser’s Vote’ & the anti Corbyn coup? Is there any empirical pattern emerging? Would it be better to get back into the ‘EuroMonster’ home of austerity? We could be more like Paris & have riots on the streets.

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