Watson’s speech on Saturday promised to back May’s Brexit deal in return for new referendum per ‘Kyle amendment’ – and this morning he tweeted he was still backing it. But Kyle amendment no longer mentions backing May’s agreement
On Saturday, Tom Watson was booed by supporters of another EU referendum when he told them he would support Theresa May’s Brexit deal in return for a new public vote.
Yesterday, Watson stormed out of a Shadow Cabinet meeting after several colleagues took him to task for departing from Labour’s position, which is to do whatever is necessary to defeat both May’s dire deal – which somehow manages to be worse than no deal at all – and to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Labour insiders said that Watson appeared to have misunderstood the Kyle amendment, saying that Watson “doesn’t do detail”.
But this morning, he confirmed his stance when he tweeted that he backs the ‘Kyle amendment’:
But it appears that Mr Watson still ‘doesn’t do detail’ – because the Kyle amendment was changed to remove any mention of May’s agreement, before Labour would back it.
The full wording of the amendment put forward by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson refers to not allowing any agreement or deal, not to backing Theresa May’s:
Tom Watson had not replied to a request for comment by the time of publication.
In spite of Labour’s support, the Kyle amendment is expected to be solidly defeated.
A motion calling on Watson to resign or to test his mandate by standing for re-election as deputy leader is already in circulation and is expected to be signed by hundreds of local Labour parties.
Watson appears to have bungled again in attempting to justify his departure from Labour policy. It appears that his reputation among colleagues for a lack of attention to detail is no exaggeration.
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