Video: Gardiner defies interruptions in perfect exposition of Labour Brexit policy

Labour MP Barry Gardiner on Sky News this morning

Barry Gardiner is one of Labour’s star media performers, having already become a cult hero by demolishing hostile interviewers during the 2017 general election campaign – and did so last month when the BBC’s Andrew Marr misrepresented the route to a new election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. He showed today that he’s lost none of his ability in 2019.

Gardiner appeared on Sky News’ Ridge programme to outline Labour’s Brexit position – and in spite of interruptions as Sophie Ridge tried to turn the discussion to a so-called “people’s vote”, Gardiner laid out perfectly Labour’s position and plan:

Labour will fight for a general election – and will go to the people on a plan to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU, which the EU will accommodate because of a new government coming to the table without May’s impossible, mutually-incompatible red lines.

Gardiner’s personal opinion is that it might then make sense to put the new deal to the people – but it would be a deal that would aim to unite the UK, rather than dividing it as the Tories’ blinkered approach would inevitably do – and would do so whether there was Brexit on May’s current terms, without a deal at all, or even if there was a so-called “people’s vote” when all the Tory-driven options on the table are bad ones.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Of course, Labour’s policy on Brexit and a general election has long been perfectly clear – and was laid out formally at the party’s annual conference in September.

So Gardiner’s bravura performance is not going to stop centrists and media pundits claiming the policy is unclear – they’ve been doing it for a long time and are not going to stop now.

But Gardiner’s exposition of Labour’s position makes it perfectly clear that those pundits, presenters and mouthpieces are being entirely – and in most cases intentionally – dishonest.

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  1. It’s a fallacy and a fantasy to think that any form of Brexit can unite the country.

  2. Well done Barry G. Of course, contrary to the outpourings of some dishonest Blairites, the composite resolution does not bind the leadership to support a People’s Vote even if a general election is not forthcoming. A PV merely has to remain on the table as an option. Conference in its sovereignty elected to give discretion to the leadership.

    Allowing Blairite domination of the “six tests” was a needless capitulation. Labour now needs NEW, SOCIALIST, NON-BLAIRITE, NON-STARMERITE red lines for any future negotiation with the EU. These should include complete governmental freedom from EU restrictions on the following: (a) the balance between markets and public monopoly in all sectors (b) the balance between private ownership and public ownership in all sectors and (b) state support to British industry.

    To avoid getting trapped in the backstop we need “NO DEAL” NOW so that we have a clean slate for such negotiations.


    1. Danny 06/01/2019 at 4:04 pm
      It looks like the only ones seeking to muddy the waters here are you and your fellow Brexiteers

      1. Nice to see the advocates of further (multiple) Referendum’s opining again on the BTL section again and attacking anyone not favourably disposed to a neoliberal Brussels. Do I take it Prof. Yanis Varoufakis is also one of your Brextremists, given his own advice to anyone trying to negotiate with Brussels, which, called for a move to a Norway Plus position followed by seven years of negotiations and transitions if Brussels were open to this?

      2. christopher rogers 06/01/2019 at 4:38 pm

        Thanks for proving my point

      3. christopher rogers, Varoufakis advised Britain to stay in the EU and blamed his own Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras more than or as much as Brussels for the Greek outcome.

      4. Jack T,

        I’d do some research if I were you Jack, as I’m referring to advice Varoufakis has given after the 2016 Result, and not before the 2016 outcome, which essentially states its impossible to negotiate with Brussels, so don’t bother!

      5. christopher rogers 06/01/2019 at 8:32 pm · ·

        I guess we can chalk up the ease of negotiating with the EU as yet another lie that was perpetuated by the Brexit side to deceive the electorate, either that or the words of naïve fools.

      6. christopher rogers. I did do my research, which is how I obtained the information. Varoufakis said in order to have meaningful negotiations with Brussels he needed support from Tsipras, which he didn’t get.

        Anyway, the point is he advised Britain to stay in the EU.

    2. “To avoid getting trapped in the backstop we need “NO DEAL” NOW so that we have a clean slate for such negotiations.”

      Thank you for that exposition of ERG policy. I’m sure that the vast majority of Labour members and supporters will be solidly behind you (and facing in the opposite direction).

      I name you as John Deadwood and claim my £50. 🙂

    3. This is a really excellent link Danny. Thank you. I’m not so sure that the six tests need such vigorous and extensive dismantling, since I’m sure many will have found them a little fatuous from the beginning. However, what I read here chimes pretty strongly with my own perception of the situation – good to see some honest analysis that deals with some uncomfortable truths.

  3. The legend that is Barry! He’s consistently made every interviewer look average. Go get ‘em Barry!

  4. Excellent performance , yet again , from Gardner , Labour policy clearly explained and at some pains to re-enforce the democratic , inclusive way in which that policy was reached . There cannot be any argument from anyone regarding Labours position… it’s crystal clear. Those that continue to press for a premature commitment to a 2nd referendum are defying the democracy of that composite motion and are playing into the hands of those who wish to see Labour loose an election.Time will tell no doubt.Yes yes I know SteveH , RH and JackT you’ll disagree that’s your prerogative as it is mine and others here to support the Leadership 100% in the stance on Brexit and the timing /position of a PV campaign . I’ll guarantee you this I’ll be out campaigning for a PV if it comes to it ,, at the right time and place in proceedings and WHEN the leadership advises it’s right to do so.

    1. It is a little disappointing that you have chosen to mis-represent the views of myself and others, As far as I’m aware none of us has expressed a preference for a second referendum over trying for a GE. The main issue that I (maybe we, but I can’t speak for the others) have had with yourself and others is your denial that a second referendum (after trying for a GE) is Labour Policy.
      Considering that there are at least 3 separate motions with references to a second referendum contained within the Composite Motion and the only option given (on the infamous table) that we must campaign for is a second referendum your refusal to recognise it as party policy just looks perverse.

      1. All other policies as well as support for a 2nd referendum. This means that a second referendum is up there with OTHER options. But first a GE.

      2. steve hilling 06/01/2019 at 7:34 pm

        FFS – What other policies, can you list these other so called policies that seem to exist only in your head? Whilst you’re at it could you also explain why these mythical policies weren’t listed alongside the only one that was?

      3. @SteveH
        At the risk of boring the other commentators which I am not going to do , but to indulge you somewhat , here are my responses to the debate clearly showing my stance /support for the parties Brexit strategy.
        In particular my response to you on the 24/12/2018 (partially copied below ,so as not to bore the pants of others reading this ) clearly indicating where I disagree with you and have all the way through , and that relates to the timing and sequencing.
        The motion clearly indicates the steps to be taken prior to any campaigning for a PV.
        I repeat once again where I disagree with all 3 of you is in the demand for a commitment NOW from Labour to a PV before those crucial chronological steps have taken place .

        The commitment to campaign for a PV is there in the motion I can see it and most others can to,
        so I am perplexed why you 3 want to demand a commitment to a PV when there is one already given in the motion ?
        Ref’ng to the links I’ve given you’ll clearly see I have been advocating and supporting the motion exactly , especially in the timing and sequencing of the events that must occur before any campaign starts for a PV .What I disagree with you 3 on is your demands for a commitment to a PV BEFORE those clearly defined steps in the motion have occurred .

        Response at 05/01/2019 at 10:58 pm ·

        This in particular where to be absolutely clear I am supporting the motion and it’s commitment to campaigning for PV with Multiple repeats of the exact wording of the motion ……

        “ including campaigning for a public vote. including campaigning for a public vote etc etc ,
        …….. just so you guys get the message .
        Go look it up if you doubt it .

        Response at 04/01/2019 at 10:02 pm more of the same ….

        Perhaps the most telling is this statement I made in response to your post on
        24/12/2018 at 8:29 am Thus…….

        “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 .”

        You can look up the rest of the comment yourself the dates and times of comments are there .. to “refresh” your memory .
        That’s as much of an indulgence as I am preprepared to give and I’ve more pressing things to do with my time .
        Good luck with your PV demands

      4. rob 06/01/2019 at 9:50 pm

        Whilst I am truly appreciate you condescending to indulge me I must admit to being perplexed by your rather repetitive reply.

        I was objecting to you blatantly misrepresenting my views and as you also agree with me that the commitment to a second referendum is clearly stated in the Composite Motion that was passed at conference why the f… do you have a problem with anything I’ve said. I have never advocated campaigning for a second vote in favour of trying for a GE.

        to quote you

        The commitment to campaign for a PV is there in the motion I can see it and most others can to,
        so I am perplexed why you 3 want to demand a commitment to a PV when there is one already given in the motion ?

        Why on earth you should have a problem with anyone pointing out that the Labour Conference passed a motion that included a commitment to campaign for a second referendum if we can’t secure a GE is beyond me. As you’ve said yourself the commitment is their in black and white for all to see.

        You appear to be attempting to manufacture a problem where one doesn’t exist.

      5. @steveH 06/01/2019 at 10:31 pm · ·

        Right I think I see where the discord is between you 3 and me .
        I am under the impression from all of your comments , this applies to all 3 of you , you seemed to want Labour to enter a GE stating that they will be campaigning for a PV and thus by de facto will, if they won the GE, be overturning the first referendum with a PV .

        (An aside ) If not then it would appear we agree on the issue of support for the composite motion and all other debate between us is irrelevant, and you can disregard the rest of this post.)

        To continue ,, that is as far as I am concerned political suicide and IMO we would loose the GE.
        If that is what you want then I opposite it as far as I am concerned that would ensure a Tory Govt.
        My position is as follows , Labours stance is that IF we get a GE , Labour will uphold the leave vote ( respecting the original referendum result as stated in the GE2017 ) and try and negotiate a better deal protecting jobs/industries/utilities etc etc as per Conf motion. How successful the negotiations would be is open to conjecture.

        Thus a statement now committing Labour to run on a PV platform ( as the Libdems are doing and what the FBPE/PV brigade want ) before entering into any GE , if there is one , would be irrelevant and contrary to the stance on negotiating a better deal. The former is what I think/thought you are/were suggesting .
        If not then it would appear we agree on the issue of support for the composite motion and all other debate between us is irrelevant.

        Regards me “manufacturing a problem” , wrong, just as wrong in your assertion of my not supporting the Conf motion and which I was not going to leave unchallenged , hence the diatribe of past threads to prove otherwise , tho I have to say I am under no obligation to prove anything to you or anyone else .
        Quite what your position is , to me is still unclear.
        Your accusation of my miss-representing you is my understanding of your comments so far.Right or wrong it’s my perception of what your stance is , ref to the aside above .

        For the other two commentators JackT and RH , then I’ll be equally clear , do I want to be in the existing model of the EU , NO . As far as I am concerned its a neo-liberal organisation that will prevent Labour from carrying out its policies even tho I originally voted to remain. Since researching more into this institution I am of the opinion that the only way fwd is via the “International Left” exerting pressure on it for a change to a Socialist model EU. One country on it’s own can’t do it irrespective IMO if it’s in it or out of it .
        However , if the choice of Labour being able to implement its radical agenda out of it , or being in it and seeing that agenda castrated , I’d rather be out of the EU.

      6. Rob. For the reasons I have already stated we cannot go into a GE with any form of Brexit in our manifesto, it will result in certain defeat.

        Secondly, you are wrong when you say we cannot implement our Socialist policies within the EU. Apart from anything else, Jeremy Corbyn campaigned to remain in the EU. Don’t let the right wing propaganda, or the Lexiter’s propaganda for that matter, get to you.

    2. Rob, many thanks for taking the time to indulge us with your ‘wisdom’ but there is just a chance you are not following the plot.

      Please tell me where the logic is in saying as an option we will support a second vote and at the same time saying when we get into power we will still have some sort of Brexit in our manifesto?

  5. So Danny, please explain what is the difference between your (socialist ?) no-deal and the tories no-deal?
    And whilst you are negotiating everything only gets much worse (if that is possible)……

    1. Simple answer, Sabine : there is no difference except in terms of the fevered theology of Lexit.

  6. I suspect the majority of Labour members would prefer a General Election as their first option and I agree. However I can absolutely and unequivocally guarantee that if we went into another election with any form of Brexit in our manifesto we would lose.

    All those young people who voted for Jeremy in the last election and those who have come of age since, who are being prevented from voting now in a second referendum, will desert us in droves. Plus if anyone thinks we can win over Brexiters by throwing them crumbs they are naive. Why would they switch from Tory to Labour when the Tories are already offering them Brexit, even if it’s not the flavour they want and which they certainly won’t get from Labour?

    As much as I respect Barry Gardiner, he was/is one of those who has been against a second vote from the start. Those who were at the Labour Conference will know that in an all night session the ‘no second voter’ executive had to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting it as a fall back option. When Keir Starmer announced it, it was greeted with rapturous support by the audience and delegates, of whom I was one. So don’t anyone tell me it’s not a major priority among members, it most certainly is and it has been borne out by polls ever since. We ignore it at our peril.

  7. There are other aspects to Brexit which are rarely discussed i.e. the fact that if we leave it will most likely split the union. Scotland which voted overwhelmingly to Remain will undoubtedly call their own independence referendum and probably win, which will create another border issue like the one in Ireland which still hasn’t been solved. We will then not be able to count on Scottish Labour seats to support a Labour Government.

    Leaving, with a Tory government in power will hand the NHS over to the US vultures because the Tories will be so desperate to regain lost trade, they will agree to anything including further NHS privatisation.

    1. Jack – Your analysis is spot on. The only thing I would add is that if Labour did win a general election on a Brexit plank, they would be left holding the Tory mess, however good the intentions, giving the Tories the chance to regroup.

      1. RH Yes, that’s precisely the point I made earlier to my own CLP. We would be hamstrung by being left to do the Tories’ dirty work to find new trade to replace that which would be lost by leaving. The consequences of which would be a loss of funds to make the changes we wish to see.

  8. ‘negotiate a new deal with the EU, which the EU will accommodate’ – the EU negotiators have said the current deal is the deal – what makes you think, when faced with Starmer, they are going to change.

    1. Could you please explain what you mean by “So now the Labour Party members have a choice,” Do you have a reason for attempting to foster division.

  9. Fantastic videos, Barry Gardiner certainly knows how to handle low life interviewers.
    Unfortunately I’m only able to watch SKWAWKBOX videos on library computers.
    On my home computer I can watch all videos normally with the exception of those downloaded from SKWAWKBOX which only operate in 2 second clips followed by 18 second gaps.
    Does anyone else have the same problem ?

  10. Labour Party Conference, Liverpool, 2018. Shadow cabinet in agreement ref. priority agenda General Election, all except Keir Starmer. His priority is a matter of record. Please explain “attempting to foster division”.

    1. If KS’s priority is a matter of record then you will have no problem with supplying the evidence to back up your claim that he is advocating a second referendum in preference to a GE.

      You start off with the false premise that party members are being offered a choice. Why would you infer that we should choose between JS and KS when they are both supporting the policy that was agreed at conference.

  11. “Barry Gardiner is one of Labour’s star media performers”: this a joke, surely? The man’s a pompous windbag incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question and congenitally incoherent on Brexit (which he shows every sign of privately supporting). He epitomises the incoherence and fundamental dishonesty of the leadership’s “constructive ambiguity” stance.

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