The Brexit maths that makes a new referendum impossible

Arithmetic as well as common sense

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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56 responses to “The Brexit maths that makes a new referendum impossible

  1. One has to admit that the Labour leadership’s policy has, effectively handed the initiative to the right-wing Tories who were the author’s of Brexit.

    But calling the notion of a new referendum ‘arrogant’ is nonsense. What is ‘arrogant’ is calling for an ‘honouring’ of the previous split vote that showed only a minority of the electorate actually favouring Brexit – and disregarding all the intervening clarification. ‘Democracy’ when it suits, eh?

    The electoral analysis is nonsense. Labour clinging to Tory coat-tails is not a pretty sight going into any election, and the real odds are that it will lose many more votes than it will gain.

    The one massive hole in the argument is the possibility of simply withdrawing Article 50 in order to sort out this incredible stupidity.

    Labour needs to be other than an echo chamber for Tory policy with a few festive trimmings.

    • “Arrogance” is entirely the right word to describe unsatisfied remain voters and Corbyn hating illiberals using the term ” People’s vote” they don’t remotely represent the people, they are overwhelmingly middle class. We’ve had an election since that restated the promise to uphold the referendum result, you had your chance to vote LibDem, and probably did.

      • Your capacity for dreaming self-abuse is amazing. I certainly didn’t vote LibDem, have consistently supported Corbyn until this latest policy debacle – but have never supported Tory/UKIP policy – unlike Brexiteers.

        By all means keep shouting into the echoing void. Reality isn’t listening. And nor are the majority of Labour Party members.

      • What do you define as ‘middle class’ does it depend on their job, academic achievements or maybe their salary. Is a train driver earning £60k+ more (or less) working class than a teacher earning £30k. What about the children, of your salt of the earth working class hero, who go to university and end up in a managerial or professional job do you hope & trust that they have their parents Labour values or are they all automatically reclassified as middle class. What about the working class who vote Tory.

        Artificial social constructs around class are not really relevant, what really matters is the political and social attitudes of Labour Party members and voters. ‘Class’ has very little to do with it.

      • Well SteveH, my perception of the middle class in this context would have to be the people I saw on “the people’s march” or whatever it was called. People who can afford holiday homes in France and Spain but don’t give a shit about holiday home price inflation that excludes locals from their own areas. I used that term because of the split between professional city dwellers who largely support remain and the rest who don’t. By the way, you sound like Tony Blair, didn’t he banish class?

      • The question of “What do you define as ‘middle class’?” is something that is totally irrelevant to the sort of knee-jerk use of language and social description in evidence here. As is the term ‘working class’.

        The language of religious faith exists outside the realm of rational analysis.

        In this particular context in usually signifies a loyalty to something other than UKIP.

    • For God sake give it a rest. Implement the first referendum vote first then you can argue your point about rejoining the European union,if its so great and things are so bad as you expect. You constantly join the blairite scum bags out to wreck a left wing Labour government, even when it’s so obvious what they are at.

      • Unfortunately, we could never rejoin the EU on the same terms we have now. We’d be compelled to join the single currency and lose control of our own money supply. That would make the National Debt a lot more difficult to manage.

  2. Apart from the logistics of approving a second Referundum – which the Government will never do – there are other very good reasons not to support the PV:
    – Delay. Vote in October? A lost year.
    – result. It’s not going to be v different from 2016 is it? There’s no 70% on the cards for anybody. The PV people imagine they will win but Leave have the media and the money to raise another shitstorm. I think the result would be the same.
    – A ‘remain’ win would surely result in a 3rd vote or there would be social unrest. So add another year?
    – what are the questions to be put? Government decides!

    Referundums are dangerous. One suggesting the return of Capital Punishment would apparently result in a big Yes. But because Parliament doesn’t want it they won’t offer it. How about a vote for war against Russia? Would they leave that to the People? We now have the situation where the People face Parliament with different opinions. Referundum are the tools of populist dictators because they chose the question and don’t ask other questions.
    It would be disastrous for Labour to ditch its 2017 commitment to the 2016 result. No wonder it’s the usual suspects screaming to bring Labour down.

    • “it’s the usual suspects screaming to bring Labour down.”

      errr … you mean the *majority* of Labour support *arguing* for rationality and distinction from the Tories in this matter – giving Labour a fighting chance of power? These are the ‘usual suspects’??

      Then there is the lack of internal coherence in your argument. ‘Referendums are dangerous’? Perhaps so. But once the box is opened – if another referendum is invalid – then the previous one must also be such. Which brings us back to ‘Remain’.

      This Lexit farce of the margins disappeared up its own arse a long time ago. There has to be a way back to reality if the country is to be rescued from the Tories’ pet schemes.

      • RH you do yourself no favours by being so dogmatically obtuse ,you know those leading the screaming for the PV are the Blairite RWs MPS who do not want and never will allow a JC Govt if at all possible , you appear to be boarding on the title of troll , which is a shame as in the past some of your posts have been quite incisive/intelligent .

      • rob 23/12/2018 at 5:11 pm

        I am having some difficulty in reconciling your post with all the polls indicating that the majority of Labour members and voters want a second vote and even academic research concludes that 78.4% of Labour Party members support a second referendum and only 8.8% of members are actually opposed to one.

        It is self evidently nonsense to dismiss an argument because Blair supports it, just as it would be wrong of me to dismiss your views because the ERG and Vladimir Putin support Brexit.

      • The way “back to reality” is clear to everyone I talk to, they are thoroughly sick of Brexit, realise the result must stand and hope for the best negotiated settlement. The only people out of step with that are a few fanatics on either side of the argument. Most people know a lot more about the EU than they did before, virtually no one I have spoken to knows the name of their MEP, nor do they care, it’s just a gravy train position like police commissioner. However, they know that they don’t like the Maastricht treaty and think we should have had a vote on it. Consequentially they would rather Corbyn’s team negotiated the settlement than May’s. They certainly don’t want to run it all again.

      • Well at least we seem to agree about the dangers of Referundums in an unwritten Parliamentary constitution; who decides if the People say Yes and Parliament says No? That’s where we are at now and to dive into another vote will only compound the difficulties. The basic issue is who and what is Government; Populist or Policy driven. Look at Peron; he loved putting a ‘good question’ to the voters and being much cleverer(and more ruthless) than Cameron, always got the result he wanted. I can’t imagine the current Parliament even agreeing the Questions. Its noticeable that PV advocates rarely get down to the nitty grit; What are the questions? It’s so easy to split one side if a 3rd Q is introduced. It’s a bonkers idea that fortunately won’t happen. Concentration should be on the Parliament we have; deadlocked now and for certain even more so after a 2nd vote, whatever the result! The best way of breaking a Parliamentary log jam is to have a GE. Without that nothing changes, Government and MP’s remain the same and because for near certainty the vote would not be overwhelming for any one side, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will be any different in a years time whatever the result.

      • @SteveH , the polls inaccuracy are well documented , it’s your choice whether to believe them or not .
        As for reconciling things then I point you to the policy on Brexit agreed by all of us members ( indirectly CLP NPF etc ) by our reps at Party Conf this year.
        Now we have a bunch of Blairite MPs Chukka and, the usual suspects who will stop at nothing to destroy Corbyn and the opportunity of a Socialist Labour Govt , leading the charge to bounce Labour out of sync with that agreed policy and into a direct PV . That ,I believe , will loose us a large and significant number of votes .
        I have no trust whatsoever in those MPs and having read/listened to their arguments have concluded they are duplicitous , that coupled with their past actions and performance , makes me question their honesty integrity and motivation on all matters.
        DO not make the mistake of allying me to the EGR or Putin that would be a fundamental error on your part .
        I support exactly what Corbyn’s position is as agreed by our Conf delegates , and want to see a Socialist Labour Govt in power to help all of us . That I fear will not happen if the Blairites and their agenda is followed on Brexit .
        No matter how much those MPs howl for a PV they and Corbyn are not in power and he cannot make the impossible happen , that is down to MAy and the Tories , simple, and all the debating , berating , insulting, passionate , castigating , congratulatory and positive discussion that goes on in this Blog is all really irrelevant to that simple fact.
        Time will tell , we will leave or stay who knows but as evidence on this blog in the last few days even us on the left are now tearing ourselves apart over Brexit , the country will never be the same again nor I fear improved in any meaningful way.

      • rob 23/12/2018 at 8:48 pm
        the polls inaccuracy are well documented , it’s your choice whether to believe them or not .

        In the absence of any contradictory polls or academic research and the fact that they are so consistant it is difficult to conclude that they don’t reflect a reasonably accurate picture. Particularly when this data is combined with what I hear in my bubble (we all have one)

        Reference this year’s conference decision

        I am as certain as I can be that I have never argued that we should pursue a PV in preference to a GE. Of course we should aim to force a GE but being able to do that is by no means a certainty.
        I am definitely not a fan of the ‘usual suspects’ I strongly believe we would have a Labour government by now if it wasn’t for their tretcherous sabotage. What they did, and also what they continue to do, was and is completely unacceptable. You are of course right we should all examine their motives with care.

        I was also profoundly disappointed that my Union (Unite) undermined the wishes of the membership on automatic reselections.

        Incidentally I would also suggest that any actions or recommendations by the SNP should also be treated with the same degree scepticism. Their desire for Scottish independence lies at the heart of all they do.

        So as far as I can see we are not a million miles apart in our aims and objectives.

        Having said that I think that, given where we are, the likelyhood of Labour being able to force a GE are slim so if we fail to get a GE then I think the only realistic alternative that has at least a fighting chance of getting the support of the majority MPs is a second referendum.

        The outright rejection a second referendum by some quarters is misguided and goes against the ‘everything on the table’ doctrine agreed at conference, if we can’t get a GE I really can’t see any other alternatives, can you?
        I also believe that if we did win a snap GE it would be a profound mistake to not respect the first referendum. I would argue that this could be done via a second referendum with a choice of three questions.

        1. Stay in the EU on our current terms and seek to reform.
        2. Leave on whatever version of a deal is on the table (be it a Labour deal or a Tory one)
        3. Leave the EU and negotiate membership of the WTO

        This vote should be run using an STV system because it is inclusive by design, it is easy to understand and it tends to give a conclusive result. Everyone’s included and everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard.

        If we do get an opportunity to have a GE then Labour should declare in our manifesto that we will hold a referendum using the above (or similar) format.

        I firmly believe that it is important that we have a second referendum (whether we win a GE or not) because otherwise how could we claim to be honouring the first referendum if we just ignore it. It would be unrealistic to think that any deal that Labour would negotiate would be welcomed with open arms by those that just want a clean break (was that ever a possibility)

        “DO not make the mistake of allying me to the EGR or Putin that would be a fundamental error on your part” .

        I don’t think I have, have I?
        I feel fairly sure that this is not the case and I only mention it so that you can guard against any misinterpretation in the future but if I was a sensitive little sole (like some on here) it would be quite easy to interpret your phrase as some sort of silly threat.

      • @Steve H , my apologies if you think my ref to not allying me to the ERG or Putin is a threat , it is not , it is me failing to clearly elucidate my abhorrence of those persons /groups .
        This exemplifies how, in my opinion, Brexit and the passionate debate around it has become so toxic that even a wrongly intoned written word make people hyper reactive , myself included.

        I am in broad agreement with your statement on the rest of your reply .My point is , and here I think perhaps is where we disagree , is the timing.
        There are a series of steps to be gone through first to ensure the Tories take the responsibility of their insane actions and not let them off the hook by allowing the PV brigade to force Labour into being the driving force for a PV before those steps have occurred .
        Let the result of Mays disastrous deal come to a conclusion , and then , if they are shitting themselves over the fallout of that with the country let then have to suggest the ” betrayal of the Brexit referendum ” by organising a second Referendum or PV.
        The duplicitous treacherous Blairite MPS know full well this and it’s their intention to gather such momentum to bounce Corbyn into this position. Result May and Tories off the hook and Labour takes responsibility for the betrayal of Brexit in the voters mind , hence not to be trusted at the GE .

        I’ve now had more than my fill of bloody Brexit and the Tories so off to enjoy my Xmas , and wish you and all the other socialist commentators here a good one and a Happy New Yr.

  3. Our tiresome (paid ?) resident/round the clock uncritical pro neoliberal EU, pro People’s Vote, pro, let’s help create a mass neo-fascist party overnight – feeding on the narrative of “betrayal by the political elite” , let’s undermine Corbyn via this unworkable stunt , fanatic, troll posting as “RH”, yet again simply ignores the substance of the article, and repeats his boring mantra.

    • Oh dear! Someone doesn’t agree with you? Can I suggest that ‘doing a Kevin’ – slamming the door and manufacturing self-righteous fantasy with fingers in ear- isn’t an answer.

      Come and visit Planet Earth some time. We often have disagreements.

  4. It looks like your questions have already been answered.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/a8ty91/a_brexit_referendum_can_1_only_be_introduced_by/
    A Brexit Referendum can: 1)* only* be introduced by Theresa May. 2) It requires Primary Legislation & Parliamentary time that *only* she controls. 3) Legally, at least 147 days preparation are needed to hold a referendum instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/sec…
    twitter.com/ToryFi…
    Twitter
    25 Comments

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    3 hours ago
    This is not really true.

    To start, 1) and 2) are the same point, so responding to them together: if 50% + 1 of the House is willing to vote for the primary legislation necessary, it will happen. I think it is a big assumption to say that Theresa May controls 50% + 1 of the House right now. If she did, she wouldn’t have to keep pulling the vote on the meaningful deal. While it is true that government controls Parliamentary timetabling under ordinary circumstances, it only takes a motion of closure, again with 50% + 1 of the House, to overturn this. So if you had enough people willing to pass the primary legislation, you’d presumably have enough to overrule the timetable too.

    For 3), Parliament can obviously override the legal requirements, since it is Parliament. While there are obvious practical limitations to this (e.g. not much point in Parliament saying “there will be a referendum tomorrow”, since, while in law there would have to be, this would be physically impossible to organize), in any event, legislation calling for a referendum would presumably also instruct Her Majesty’s Government to seek an extension to the A50 period from the EU, which the EU can agree to by a meeting of the European Council, which can be done on very short notice.

    • The notion of a referendum bill as a Private Member’s Bill is unconvincing since it would be a vast Bill requiring extensive parliamentary time and civil service input. It would surely need to be a Government Bill.

      • Danny 23/12/2018 at 4:38 pm
        For better or worse we don’t have a written constitution so I believe that if there was a majority in parliament for a second referendum then a way would be found. To argue otherwise would be to argue that the executive is an all powerful dictatorship.

  5. I think Labour would fare better if going back to the remain and reform strategy.
    Once Brexit bites, would people not blame labour for being complicit in causing more poverty and suffering to people?

    The best and most honest strategy would be to revoke article 50 and stay in and use existing EU regs to sort some eu related things out. Other things that are purely UK related are not issues the EU can sort.
    I think that once people see that their concerns are actually being dealt with they might possibly be in a more positive frame of mind about it.

    • Argh!!! You must be a ‘troll’ posting such contrary (if coherent) views!! -) This, evidently, is a ‘safe space’ for those parroting right-wing Tory policy!

      • In reply to your comment yesterday, I like to clearly state that a) I am not a tory, b) not a troll, c) I do not own a villa abroad, but d) I am one of those pesky EU citizens, who has lived on this country for almost 37 years.
        I like to think for myself, so rest assured no-one does that for me!

    • People blaming Labour for any economic downturn is very small beer compared with ignoring the referendum result they promised to honour.

      • Until the Tories get in and do what Tories do. Then it will be too late for regrets, won’t it.

  6. The notion of another referendum is particularly dangerous because the outcome of the first referendum has not yet been implemented. It was not intended to be merely advisory.

    To make the British electorate trek back to the polls because they “got it wrong the first time” would be the height of Blairite arrogance. And didn’t we have enough Blairite arrogance with the Iraq war comrades?

    If the Labour Party heads down this road it’ll pay a heavy price at the next election, not least in its many Leave-supporting target seats which it must win in order to form a parliamentary majority.

    Of course this is of little consequence to Blairites who do not wish to risk Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister anyway.

    • Danny – So let me see if I’ve got this right. Your argument is that even though it is likely that having seen the reality of Brexit a substantial proportion of voters (from both sides) may have changed their mind you think that the only fair way forward is to leave first and then have another referendum on whether we should apply to rejoin the EU on terms that are yet to be negotiated but will be worse than the deal we have now . Whichever way a second referendum went it is difficult to see how you can make a cogent argument that your preferred scenario would be in the best interests of the country. .

      • There is no “argument”. A promise was made by both main political parties to honour the result of the referendum. At one time, even Nick Clegg wanted to hold one:

        “It’s been over thirty years since the British people last had a vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

        That’s why the Liberal Democrats want a real referendum on Europe. Only a real referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU will let the people decide our country’s future.”
        Nick Clegg 2008

        It was the democratic thing to do given that we didn’t have any say over the Masstricht treaty which changed all the rules. There was always going to come a point when we voted on membership, politicians had been side stepping the vote since 1992.

  7. Well said Skwawk. Another fine, sensible post.

    The Blairtes are trying to con the Labour membership into undermining Corbyn’s carefully calibrated policy on EU. This would have the effect of sabotaging the next general election in the process and set Corbyn up for another leadership challenge.

    Please promote tgt People’s Assembly “Yellow Vest” demo for a General Electioe on Jan 12:

    No matter which way you voted in the original referendum, if you care about ending austerity, if you care about homelessness, if you want to see rail and other privatised utilities taken back into public ownership, then a general election is the only way that this can be done. In short it is driving the Tories from power which is the key question for working people in Britain today.

    Assemble: 12 noon outside the BBC Portland Place – Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus.

    (Transport details below)

    • Yehayyyyyy at last a sensible comment regarding the bigger picture not just the narrow confines of ” all things Brexit “

  8. Thank you for highlighting the role of the centrists. It is dissappointing that so many have been sucked in by their disruption campaign. Unfortunately there remains a hard core of Blairites in and associated with the party and we should be focussing on demonstrating that their position is both wrong and damaging to apsirations for a fairer society.

    • Oh dear. It seems the term ‘Centrist’ has become the latest yadda-yadda term to mean anyone who doesn’t support the right-wing Tory policy of Brexit?

      Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ becomes the Lexit holy text.

      • I prefer Blairite Scum bags , centrist is to civil a word for a bunch mass murdering supporting Bastards!

      • I’ve not come across anyone on this blog who supports a right wing Tory Brexit. That’s why I find your antithesis so puzzling. Left wingers who support remain but imagine “changing the EU from within” (a few words that brush aside the complexity of tearing up the treaty of Europe and starting again with full agreement from 27 members) is likely or possible defies logic. I can only assume that you, and people like you, are 1) 100% risk averse and hate change. 2) Employed by the EU directly or indirectly. 3) Are trolling this blog. Or 4) have been totally hoodwinked by the establishment and see the “four freedoms” as a liberating left wing concept much like extreme right wingers do.

  9. Brexit in any format will weaken the financial standing of Britain and possibly reduce DWP-issued pensions and benefits to millions of people, including many who are sick and disabled. They will have to contend with a smaller state pot of funds. Significant capital flight is already a reality and the Conservative media—rightly or wrongly—is blaming the fear of a socialist Corbyn government for the fleeing of money from this country. The only way forward is to revoke Article 50 and end this Brexit madness.

    • Of course. But standing in the shrinking painted corner of an echo chamber and shouting ‘Virtue!’ is so much more satisfying than addressing the real issues of Tory hegemony.

      Actual power is such a difficult issue when empty delusion is easier to control. You can always blame someone else.

      • We respectfully acknowledge your view point, RH. Very strongly held, we may say. And let us make it clear that we do not quite regard you as one of the so called ‘Centrists/Blairites’. For some of us who have been following your comments on other issues, we are certain that your are one of us.

        From your comments, your support for Remain is premised on 3 reasons:
        1. The majority of Labour members support Remain
        2. The referendum result is not conclusive. In some of your comments, you perplexingly even call it the view of the minority.
        3. People are more aware of the consequences of Brexit now than before, hence your demand for 2nd ref for the people to reconfirm or reconsider their original choice.

        Regarding your first reason, Yes the majority of Labour members support Remain. Not surprisingly, because the leadership campaigned on the platform of Remain & Reform. The question is how about the majority of Labour constituencies as opposed to members? You will see that the result is different when applied to constituencies. And in our constituency based system, as opposed to one based on popular vote, it is the majority of constituencies that win you power. Hence the leadership’s stance of honouring the results of the referendum whilst at the same time addressing the wishes of Remainers like yourself.

        Regarding your conclusion that the referendum result is not the view of the majority, it definitely is the view of the majority that voted. That is what matters. There was no requirement for a minimum threshold number of the electorate. Neither was there a requirement for a ‘substantial’ majority – for example, 2/3 majority. And we accepted the rules of the referendum.

        Regarding the increased awareness of the consequences of Brexit, for some of us, we seem to recall Project Fear stories that emanated from the Remain side. But the majority still voted Leave. Again, let’s be wary of polls, which by the way, were showing Remain winning by a comfortable margin during the referendum campaign.

        In conclusion, we had a general election after the referendum, where Labour clearly stated that it will respect the referendum result, and we didn’t do quite badly compared to the LibDems who advocated for Remain. So it is difficult to see how the electorate will punish Labour for its exact same stance this time around.

      • Stewart – I’m sorry that I missed your post – one that actually argues a case.

        My reasons for supporting Remain are not essentially those that you highlight – these are ancillary arguments relating to the proposition that the Labour Party at this point should be aligning itself with Remain, as opposed to adopting the tenets of Lexit. The underlying arguments are about both being on the right side of history, and being pragmatic in electoral terms.

        The fundamental issue for me is the utility of Brexit as a concept, and I can find no realistic argument to contradict the probability that it will massively disadvantage the country in economic and cultural terms, whilst the concept of ‘Leave’ counteracting the neoliberal impulses that have shaped the current state of the nation is wishful thinking rather than soundly based in any likely scenario.

        As many have said, the current social and economic distortions and inequalities are home-grown rather than imposed by Europe (even allowing for the restrictive regulations re.the market that inhibit state intervention). And – as I’ve often said – the impulse for Brexit comes from the rabid right – and they aren’t salivating because of the prospect of a more social economy.

        Much better to be in on the argument rather than being isolated and subject to more powerful trading partners. The current position – if imperfect – is much more preferable to being outside the EU, or rejoining at a later stage without the current negotiated exceptions.

        Bluntly – the Lexit scenario doesn’t stand up even to a cursory examination.

        Everything else is subsidiary to that analysis.

        But pragmatically – there is no moral imperative to be wedded to an unsubstantiated flight of fancy on the basis of a 37% vote in its favour. And, yes, that’s the criterion for proper constitutional decisions in all situations that I know. Simple majoritarianism might do for periodic elections – but, as said – that’s because it only commits to next election.

        Manifesto statements are just that – and they are made at every election. They are not binding undertakings that cannot be reconsidered in the light of better information. Governance isn’t a playpen.

        Clearly, there is no real mandate from the Party for a Brexit stance, given the developing situation. The issue is so fundamental, that the policy should perhaps be put to a ballot of members. Or we’re in the same top-down pick-and-mix as in the days of Blair. But the notion of ‘carrying on regardless of (a) members and (b) a developing knowledge is regressive – as well as self-defeating, if not plain hypocritical.

        Then there’s the sheer pragmatics. Lexiteers can shout and scream, but the fact is that the current best analysis suggests that, indeed, Labour needs to get out of the Tory shadow and harness the votes of those who support ‘Remain’ – because that’s where the support potentially lies. This takes into account the uneven spread of voting, but also the changing dynamics and the generational shift.

        Bluntly, there is no future for a Labour Party wedded to splitting the Brexit vote (and all that implies) with the Tories.

    • My goodness, the horror, the horror ! And don’t forget the hordes of locusts which will be scouring the land of edible crops, and earthquakes guaranteed to eventuate as soon as Brexit is achieved, “Samuel Miller”. Obviously on that basis, we Left Wingers better give up all attempts at a Left-leaning Government, even a mildly reforming one that Jeremy would lead – because the global markets would undoubtedly punish the currency and Big Business engage in umpteen sabotage strategies to punish any extra taxation and state planning and re-building the Welfare state. Status quo no matter what , eh ? Onward to the EU-led neoliberal zero hour contract , manufacturing industry-less , permanent Austerity , future then — rather than fighting for even mildly socialist measures for the many not the few !

      The Project Fear middle class Guardianista trolls are out in force on this thread today . Nothing must threaten the cronyist bubble of privilege the middle classes, particularly the political elite, and the mass media propaganda class, have secured for themselves over the last 30 years of neoliberalism, as the collaborating handmaidens of the superrich.

      • “The Project Fear middle class Guardianista trolls are out in force on this thread today ”

        Oh dear! Such cotton-wool-wrapped reality denial is rather sad..

        You really do need to get out of the playpen more.

    • All that has already happened or is happening since 2012 ,and in case you haven’t noticed we are still in the Eu.

  10. You sound somewhat naive. Surely, if the EU ‘wanted’ to bend the ‘rules’, they would. What is your view on the vast majority of both the Labour Party membership and supporters wanting another Referendum (PV)? Just totally ignore them!?

    • Joe , as a Labour party member I ain’t been asked by anyone in the Labour Party about wanting a PV , so where’s your figures and evidence , factual not opinion that the vast majority wants a PV ?

      • The sample of Momentum taken in November showed 81% in favour of a public vote in some circumstance. Not a complete survey – but fairly indicative of a strong leaning towards a possible re-vote.

      • RH– 81% of a small number of Momentum members ( which I am one of and never saw any poll), max Mom membership 48K Lab @600K is not ” the vast majority of Labour members.

  11. Support for Brexit will seriously damage Labour. Once it happens it will be a disaster and Corbyn will be blamed as much as the Tories. Yes the Brexit vote was anti-middle class but it was a toxic combination of the extreme right wing and the working class racist vote.

    • The resistance to Brexit, within Labour, has been carefully orchestrated by right wingers and Progress to specifically blame Corbyn. He, rather than May is the object of their hatred and contempt and the media have been happily reinforcing that meme. You should be ashamed of joining them.

      • “The resistance to Brexit, within Labour, has been carefully orchestrated by right wingers”

        You are entitled to hold your particular views, but you really do need to get a grip on these self-reinforcing delusions and distortions of reality.

        The ‘Blairites’ might generally be in favour of remaining in the EU – but this analysis cuts right across the spectrum. It is really silly to pretend otherwise. The Lexit notion is held by a minority of the Party.

        And – as said – Brexit it is essentially a Baldrick plot originating in the extreme right.

      • Which is why I never singled out, nor mentioned, Blairites in particular. There is nothing self reinforcing in my comment, it is a statement of the reality of comments in traditionally left leaning msm. I’m under no delusion, but I’m saddened by the vitriol aimed at Corbyn by by people who read the Guardian and the Independent and claim to be left wingers, they seldom mention May these days but their hatred of Corbyn is palpable and it’s being exploited.

  12. I voted remain. The reason. I did not want this ghastly government to have autonomy. Still in the EU meant affording some protection like the human rights act. The media are putting out false messages that Labour voters and members are not in agreement with Jeremy Corbyn over this. I am 100% in agreement with him. if Jeremy Corbyn were in power I would trust him not to antagonise the rest of the world and work amicably with the rest of Europe and World etc. Bah humbug to the peoples vote

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