Last month, the LabourList site published a letter from a number of conference delegates involved in ‘compositing’ a motion for Labour’s conference on the party’s approach to Brexit and the country’s need for a new general election.
The letter criticised statements by Jeremy Corbyn to the media, claiming they were ‘not aligned with party policy’ and implying that stopping Brexit was an element of Labour policy .
Now a new open letter by other delegates – including one well-known union leader – has set the record straight. Fifteen conference delegates from around the country have signed a letter whose key passage states:
We should be clear about the content passed at conference. It stated that, should Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement fail to meet the six tests Labour has set out, Labour will vote against it and Jeremy Corbyn has been perfectly clear about this.
At that point, if the government cannot get its own deal through parliament, it would be in the best interests of the country to serve a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister and trigger an immediate general election.
This is not a pious hope. With the confidence and supply agreement of the DUP having currently broken down, it is far from clear that any Tory successor to May could command a majority in the House.
Only a general election could allow for the formation of an alternative government with democratic credentials to fix the multiple crises playing out across Britain (not only Brexit, but in respect of inequality, public services and a broken welfare system).
The composite did not gainsay our commitment to respecting the outcome of the first referendum. Nor did it insist that we try to “stop Brexit”. It simply pledged us to fight for the general election that we so desperately need. In absence of this, all options remain on the table.
We should therefore not be distracted from our key task, which is a Labour government that delivers for the many and not the few.
The unravelling of the Tories’ appalling Brexit performance and the ongoing collapse of the government are testimony to the intelligence of Labour’s – and in particular Corbyn’s – handling of the difficult Brexit issue. This welcome open letter makes it clear that Corbyn has incorporated Labour’s conference declaration into that approach.
The full letter and accompanying article can be read here.
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