Leaving aside any matters of preference, electoral reality means that a Labour campaign for the arrogantly-titled “people’s vote” would ensure that Labour loses the next general election. Any increased vote-shares that might result in seats Labour already holds in city areas that want to remain would do nothing to move the party into Downing Street – while lost votes in Labour’s leave-voting northern heartlands would certainly move Labour further away from it.
Labour supporters who recognise that reality – and the party’s sensible policy of honouring the referendum result – have also tended to believe that putting Corbyn’s Labour further from government is exactly why so many centrists, including unelected figures such as Blair, Mandleson and Adonis, are pushing so hard another referendum.
And now simple legislative arithmetic has shown that conclusion to be correct, because time is about to run out for one to be called – and one was never within reach anyway.
Boiled down to its basics, the reality is as follows:
- any new referendum could only be called by Theresa May
- it requires primary legislation & parliamentary time that only May controls.
- legally, at least 147 days’ preparation are needed to hold a referendum
- the EU exit deadline of 23 May is hardwired, because the UK is not contesting the EU elections. Lawyers say that no MEP representation will invalidate the UK’s membership.
This means that the UK would need to formally commence proceedings for a second referendum in the next 5 days if it was to meet hardwired deadline of 23rd May, even with an extension to article 50.
Given that it’s now Christmas recess and parliament is not in session until the new year, the referendum ship has already sailed.
Yet the ‘PV’ cult is pushing harder than ever for something that is now out of the question. Of course, what is still on the table is an opportunity to damage Labour electorally.
The centrists’ motives were never subtle, but now they are laid bare. Just do the maths.
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