Excl: Labour MPs across the Brexit spectrum speak out in support of Lavery

Labour’s chairman has been targeted by media this week over his abstention in Commons Brexit votes

Labour Chair and Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has been heavily targeted by the media and by right-wing Labour MPs for his decision to abstain on a Labour-supported amendment earlier this week. The amendment called on the government to put any Brexit deal to a further public vote.

Lavery has frequently been a target of the right because of his closeness to and staunch support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

But while the media and so-called ‘centrist’ MPs have attacked, the popular Lavery has received expressions of support from colleagues across the Brexit spectrum. Some of them told the SKWAWKBOX what they think of Lavery and why they support him.

Ian Mearns – “Ian was absolutely right”

Fellow north-easterner Ian Mearns is one of twenty-five MPs who signed a letter this week calling on Jeremy Corbyn to refuse any talk of a new referendum in his discussions with Theresa May, after May had to ask for Corbyn’s help to find a solution to the Brexit deadlock.

Mearns told the SKWAWKBOX both about the policy aspects of the votes this week – and the constituents both he and Lavery represent:

Supporting another referendum was only ever on the basis that our party couldn’t secure a deal that was to our liking. Our manifesto – and our conference policy – said that we would respect the 2016 referendum result.

Now that May, after all her time-wasting and prevarication, has decided to enter negotiations with Jeremy, that rolls us back a couple of steps in the process conference decided – the conference policy was never to put a deal that was to our liking to another referendum, it was only to defeat a bad deal.

Let’s not forget that Ian and I and almost all the others (who signed the letter) voted in support of the Yvette Cooper amendment to take no-deal off the table. We stick with the 2016 result as long as we can get a deal which is to our liking – and whether we get that deal or not is still unsure.

If we get a good deal, pushing for another referendum is counter-productive – especially for MPs representing constituencies like ours. And it’s premature given where we are now.

The MPs who support the idea of another referendum almost all come from very safe constituencies, but if you look at the recent ‘revoke’ petition, almost none of the people who signed came from constituencies like mine and Ian’s – and in 2016 we were seeing a fourteen-point difference in favour of leaving.

As history has shown us since 2016, the north has been largely ignored by this government – and for decades by successive governments before that, including Blair’s. People up here are crying out for significant political change, so from that perspective Ian was absolutely right to stand up for our voters. I understand that some people are really upset,

Laura Pidcock – “he’s fought for working class people all his life”

Laura Pidcock in the Commons

Labour front-bencher Laura Pidcock is a remain voter whose constituents voted to leave the EU in 2016. She told the SKWAWKBOX:

Ian Lavery has fought for working class people his whole life, he is a dedicated servant of the Labour Party and he is a principled man. He loves the Labour Party and works so hard every day to make sure we are prepared for power.

Dan Carden – “a giant of the trade union and Labour movement”

Dan Carden

While Mearns and Lavery represent heavily leave-voting areas, in Liverpool over 58% of voters opted for remain. But Liverpool Walton MP Dan Carden was emphatic in his backing for the Wansbeck MP – and in his understanding of his decision this week:

As Chair of the Party Ian Lavery has transformed the way we operate in our communities and engage people in politics.

Ian is a giant of the trade union and Labour movement who understands and speaks up for the concerns of his constituents.

Labour must never again take for granted the support of our working class heartlands and left behind communities and I know Ian is driven by that commitment.

Laura Smith – “Ian was quite right”

Laura Smith MP

Sixty percent of voters in Crewe and Nantwich voted to leave the EU, a year before Laura Smith won the seat in the 2017 general election. She signed this week’s letter to Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Smith told the SKWAWKBOX:

Ian is an uncompromising socialist that wants nothing more than to see Jeremy as Prime Minister, leading a radical programme for change to rebuild and re-balance our economy.

At the last election, Labour promised to respect the referendum result. I firmly believe we need to focus our efforts on achieving a deal that lays the foundations for that programme we are united around.

Like me, Ian believes the membership are key to Labour’s success in the next election and respects the democratic mandate of last year’s conference decision. However, the recent motions went beyond that policy.

I know that he did not take this decision lightly but he understands the gravity of the current situation. Everything is at stake and Ian knows this.

Grahame Morris – “Ian recognises public opinion outside London and was quite right”

Easington MP Grahame Morris

Former front-bencher Grahame Morris’ Easington seat voted leave in 2016, by a ratio of two to one, although he personally is said to have voted to remain. In spite of his personal preference in 2016, Morris was another of the twenty-five MPs who put his name to the letter asking Corbyn to reject the idea of another referendum. He told the SKWAWKBOX:

The country is divided and it is important to recognise that a large number of Labour MPs like Ian Lavery representing majority leave constituencies in which the current push from what is considered to be a metropolitan elite for a People’s Vote to frustrate or reverse Brexit is being interpreted as ignoring the will of the majority in the traditional Labour areas. Ian Lavery recognises the weight of public opinion outside of London and was quite right to abstain in the votes.

A senior Labour insider told the SKWAWKBOX:

The point that a lot of commentators ignore is that there’s a huge difference in living standards between the North and the South in general and away from the major cities. There needs to be a socialist alternative to address the root causes of why people in these former heavily industrialised areas decided to leave – and the “people’s vote” gang are not offering it.

12.9 million people voted for our brilliant manifesto in 2017, which promised to respect the 2016 outcome – including many who couldn’t afford to go to conference but support Jeremy and the project. We can’t turn our back on these people because they’re the very heart of our movement and its bread and butter.

Ignoring our democratic process could result in disaster not just for Jeremy but for the party as we know it – and for the country, which is desperate for the change Labour represents. The real challenge is to bring both remain and leave supporters together to deliver for the many and not the few. 

SKWAWKBOX comment:

As last night’s by-election in Newport West showed – Labour won but with a reduced majority in the leave-voting seat, while UKIP and the Tories benefited – any move by Labour to overturn or block the referendum result would be a huge misstep that would prolong the hardship of the millions suffering under the Tories.

Ian Lavery recognises the electoral reality as well as the moral imperative of respecting the votes of the huge numbers of people who voted to leave the EU in 2016.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that many of those pushing hardest for a new referendum recognise that electoral reality just as well as Lavery does – and are pushing so hard because they know it would risk derailing Labour’s prospects in the next general election.

Whatever the tactical moves in the Commons, many MPs and huge numbers of Labour supporters know it too – and Ian Lavery has their complete support, as well as their appreciation of his enormous value to the movement.

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  1. Well done Steve: these things need saying. They also need chalking in capital letters on a blackboard and then used to beat Twatson around the head until he comes round. The guy’s making up Labour policy on the hoof, acting as if he’s the leader of the party, spilling his guts out all over the telly and the papers and generally causing mayhem. Why are the BBC and the Guardian not letting us hear Lavery, Pidcock etc? Why indeed?

      1. Meanwhile, why do I have the impression that May is single minded, not just in her failure to compromise (which is taken as read) but in her engineering of the perfect scenario for a “no deal by accident”, whilst abstaining herself from blame by pretending that she is totally opposed to such an outcome?

  2. “As last night’s by-election in Newport West showed – Labour won but with a reduced majority in the leave-voting seat, while UKIP and the Tories benefited – any move by Labour to overturn or block the referendum result would be a huge misstep that would prolong the hardship of the millions suffering under the Tories.”
    I agree. But try telling that to our in house “love Corbyn hate Brexit” club members and all you get is “the latest fake poll % (80 or above) of members/voters who apparently want another referendum. They choose to throw their lot in with a certain Hungarian American billionaire who got his money from Tory economic incompetence.

    1. You are more than welcome to quote from any polls that support your minority view.

      1. labrebisgalloise 05/04/2019 at 8:19 pm

        Yes I know it was and isn’t it great that despite the very poor turnout because of atrocious weather we still won in a leave area.

      1. Yes, just imagine. UKIP would probably have taken even more votes from the Conservatives

    2. The turnout dropped from 67% to 37%. Blaming the weather is weak. The harsh reality for many in Newport isn’t easy.

      No offence intended towards the Welsh, they are used to wet and windy. If they thought voting would help, they’d face the elements.

      1. Whatever the reason for the low turnout the fact remains we still won in what was previously a Leave area.

    3. Lundiel, why is it fake? Just because you don’t like it doesn’t stop it being a fact.

      1. Remain have been paying YouGov for polling every couple of weeks. I’ve explained many times that YouGov cannot be trusted with political polling. Anyone can register as a Labour member/supporter/voter. No one trusts their polling, it’s used to change people’s minds.

      2. lundiel 07/04/2019 at 12:24 pm

        Remain have been paying YouGov for polling every couple of weeks.
        You must have wondered why Leave weren’t publishing their polling results.

        When Leave Means Leave finally got around to publishing the results of their latest poll (just a few days ago) it must have been profoundly disappointing that their results confirmed the results of all the other polls that had been published.

        Table 35 – How would you vote now?
        Leave 39%,
        Remain 45%

        The results from the Leave Means Leave poll appear to demolish your accusations of bias from all those other polls.

      3. lundiel – your fervid wish that reality was different is remarkable. Have a look at the general trend of *all* polls – YouGov *is* anomalous at times, but so are some other organisations, and the idea that it’s simply a propaganda tool is daft. There are much simpler explanations.

        The facts about the nature of Labour voters and Brexit is simply established from a range of analyses. You don’t have to like it or agree with it – but denial is simply a delusion that verges on the medical rather than the political.

      4. RH & SteveH your faith in polls is governed by their results, you never ever comment on why organisations are willing to invest so much money into them. Of course they do it to change people’s minds and who knows how many polls they commissioned with slightly different questions, posed at politically definitive points in time before they get the answers they want? That’s why YouGov is so popular, they can pretty much gauge the result on previous polling without having to contend with vagaries of real time political ups and downs. Even if the polls are right, it is only because of the propaganda onslaught over the last 3 years which have been all about predictions propaganda and marketing not facts. But one fact you can’t deny, is the almost unlimited expenditure of those who fund remain, including foreign entities. None of this can alter the fact that we voted to leave. People aren’t going to start liking the EU, if we do stay in, or as good as, they will still feel the same and a new generation of youngsters will grow into the same people their parents are.
        You should both come here and explain how you intend to change the EU, rather than propagandising for remain.

      5. Well it is good to see that you have at last begrudgingly acknowledged that public opinion has shifted towards Remain.

        It’s not my fault that Leavers have been incapable of putting forward a decent argument to back up their nonsense. Unfortunately for you the change of public opinion towards Remain is not driven propaganda but by their personal experience and observations.

      6. A few correctives :

        “your faith in polls”

        No – it’s not ‘faith’. It’s simply knowledge of the limitations *and* the advantages – as opposed to pure speculation and wishing. It’s about a grasp of statistical method – probability, not absolute certainty.

        ” they do it to change people’s minds”

        …. well, that’s a double-edged sword. Poll results don’t work in a simple way. So it can be a bit of a waste of time to conspire.

        “the people I talk to are angry”

        … and me. But the anger is directed at the waste of time spent in a fruitless exercise based on the whim of a minority that has no basis in analysis.

        “None of this can alter the fact that we voted to leave.”

        Oh, c’mon, lundiel. A mere 37% of the electorate did. Even painting the pig with lipstick doesn’t alter that hard fact.

        “one fact you can’t deny, is the almost unlimited expenditure of those who fund remain,”

        Mmmm … I think that the use of black funding was just as significant for the hedge fund lobby on the other side. Not an argument.

        ” a new generation of youngsters”

        In terms of ‘youngsters’ – you’ve lost the argument. Which is why Leave is frantic to prevent a democratic re-run that lets them have more of a say.

        The argument is lost. The issue is the political will to recognize it and not slavishly bow down to extreme right concoctions. It’s a bit like the ‘antisemitism’ scam.

    4. …and I’m very concerned about your (on the face of it) completely irrelevant reference to George Soros. This smacks of the sort of antisemitic smears that the extreme right wing Victor Orban is prone to in Hungary. Please explain the reference and why it’s being made.

      1. I don’t understand why you are attempting to turn this discussion into one about someone’s religion, are you some sort of racial agitator?
        You do not mention the ethnicity or religion of the contributor, why is that, and before you start don’t be having a go at me unless you want to risk being branded an anti semitic.

      2. John, if you’ve looked at my previous posts you’ll see that I’m appalled by the false allegations of anti-semitism against the Labour Party.
        However Lundiel made a clear reference to a Jewish capitalist in the context of him being the influence on Remainers views. Attacks on Soros have been used in the past as a code for attacks on jews as a whole.That’s why I find it troubling. Lundiel posts regularly here but hasn’t responded yet. I hope that explains my previous post.

      3. I never referenced his religion. He’s relevant to the conversation due to him not being British. If remain can make hay about alleged “dark money” from foreign sources, I have every right to highlight foreign money given to remain.
        I find your sanctimony an appalling piece of diversionary fakery.

      4. Lundiel, thanks for responding. Happy to accept what you say about it being his funding of a remain campaign rather than anything else. Your 2nd post makes it clearer.
        But I don’t see why his support for remain means that people are ‘throwing their lot in’ with him. Trying to discredit either side by who supports what is a mug’s game. For every Tony Blair or George Osborne coming out for Remain you have a Rees-Mogg or Farage for Leave.
        ..and I won’t respond to your final sentence sInce I’ve been posting on here about the importance of civility and seeing the other side’s point of view.

    5. Polling analysis is more than just imagining an outcome because you like the idea.

      The Newport bye-election said absolutely *nothing* about the Party’s Brexit stance.

      There was a rise in the UKIP vote – but in hard numbers, it wasn’t massive, although it looks significant in proportionate terms because of the low base. General polling data actually suggests that UKIP steals more from the Tories. I would also have expected the dozy Kippers (look who they were voting for – without a clothes peg) to have made an effort.

      I would also have been surprised if Labour hadn’t held on. But I would have been fascinated by any evidence of a Brexit effect – remember, Labour has consistently supported Brexit as a main position. But there is no evidence at all, and certainly nothing that says anything about a theoretical ‘Remain’ position. The Tories took a hit, too.

      The figures actually bear out general national polling data, which has shown a steep decline in support for both Labour and Tories, coupled with a disillusion with the current state of politics. Beyond that – it’s a pretty normal bye-election outcome with a reduced turnout.

      Nothing much to look at – let alone sufficient to generate wish-fulfilment fantasies about the current state of opinion amongst Labour voters and members. ( I will resist my own wish-fulfillment syndrome that the lowered turnout and majority would have been lessened had Labour’s Brexit policy been more distinctive and pro-active. But it is on the same unevidenced level).

      1. I pretty much agree with this: “The figures actually bear out general national polling data, which has shown a steep decline in support for both Labour and Tories, coupled with a disillusion with the current state of politics.” However, the people I talk to are angry because they know the last 3 years were wasted on purpose to drag it out and they believe we won’t be allowed to leave.

    6. Lundiel, why be shy about using George Soros’ name?
      It’s true that shorting the pound earned his fund about a billion, but he did that legally, the pound had been asking for it and a stupid policy of throwing money at an unsustainable exchange rate was stopped.
      The fact that the world’s financial system allows a casino to set – and gamblers to manipulate – international exchange rates by betting on or against them was and is the problem, not the fact that he profited from it.
      Demonisation of Soros is a far right diversionary tactic to give the hard-of-thinking Hitler worshippers something familiar to focus their hate on. He wasn’t the only one to profit from Black Wednesday.
      Please can we not sing from the same Tommy Robinson hymn sheet as those halfwits?

      You wouldn’t accept that you’d ‘thrown your lot in with’ Re-Smug and the ERG yet you accuse others of similarly Tory-enabling stupidity.
      Why not just acknowledge that opinions on the most direct path to a socialist Labour government can differ, that there are leavers on both sides and remainers on both sides – and FFS not let our differences stop us kicking Tory arse on GE day?
      I won’t be satisfied until I see every last one of those fuckers lose its comfortable sinecure and blub like Portillo.

      ps. small suggestion:
      The antisemitism slurs have gathered pace again.
      Our MP’s should FROM TODAY loudly and publicly demand, at every appearance on the BBC, that they broadcast “The Lobby” in all its four parts, in prime-time, with full pre-publicity.
      We should at the same time explain that a public inquiry into BBC political bias will be one of the first acts of the next Labour government and that it will likely be the shortest public inquiry in history, given the overwhelming evidence that has already been gathered and collated.

      1. Absolutely, David. Let’s leave it to the Tories to throw toys out of prams (and the more they do so the better). Unity is strength.

  3. “As last night’s by-election in Newport West showed …. any move by Labour to overturn or block the referendum result would be a huge misstep”

    Wishful thinking (or just simple-mindedness) – aka bollocks.

    No – it didn’t show anything except public confusion, disinterest and disillusion. If you want to boil it down, it showed that the current Labour ‘position’ is having absolutely no impact in terms of popularity.

      1. So… Corbyn’s Bogart… is dead German guy May? Watson?
        Captain Renault – he’s Bercow is he?
        Or is Bogart Tusk and dead German guy’s still May? But who’d Captain Renault be then… oh, I get it, he’s Corbyn.
        Didn’t pull the trigger himself, got Bogart to do it. Brilliant!
        Hang on… that makes… Bogart… Rees-Mogg? Or Tusk?
        Dead German’s definitely May though?
        Half-hoped it was Watson but you’re right, she needs to go.
        Jeez, this is complicated.
        Always hated film appreciation. Hopeless at it.

  4. Sadly Brexit won’t have the hoped-for effects on the jobs market, on local services availability or on quality of life for ordinary people – foreign workers will still be invited to keep wages down and austerity will continue to cripple local services.
    Even if immigrants were repatriated as the hard right would wish, technology will continue to replace employment anyway – and as it progresses AI/robotics will also provide local services, albeit in very different forms.
    In or out of the EU the only thing that can substantially improve our lives is a genuinely socialist government empowered by a minuscule opposition and a population newly aware of the truth about capitalism.

    1. Just seen Mark ‘Boycie’ Francois ranting on about May “consawtin’ wivvie ennemuy” – sick of the BBC always giving the platform to the same loudmouthed populist fuckwits.

      1. How did his local party come to select him? Could they not find anyone even slightly more intelligent?

      2. I love it. It gives you an idea just how acrimonious and deep the divisions are in the Tory party. The dislike intolerance and desire for revenge will last for years if they don’t fall apart before then.
        Francois is a classic swiveled-eyed loon from the extreme right of the Tory party who is simply pouring fuel on to the fire.
        In my nearly 70 years I have never ever heard a Tory MP speak of their colleagues in the manner in which he does and gets away with. The very fact that he is allowed to do so demonstrates that the Tories’ have lost their legendary ability to put on a united front when things are going very wrong for them. The settling of scores between themselves will soon become their priority.

      3. The other thing is that Francois floats on the shit-crust that is the Tory membership – it’s an older, raddled and shrunken constiuency.

  5. I have a problem with the quality of the insults being thrown @ people who advocate ‘Leave’ on Sqwawkbox. Usually they involve accusations of racism; ignorance; stupidity; being venal & dim &/or not being a socialist. I put this down to ‘Remoaners’ being poorly bred. Whatever happened to courtesy & clever argument?

    1. Steve, how about this for a straight forward non-insulting question:

      What is wrong with asking people if they would like to change their mind…..either way! about a decision they made three years ago?

      And by the way, probably more ‘insults’ have been made by Leavers against Remainers in these columns since the referendum……and Skwarwky is no exception, it’s just that Leavers appear to be a little more precious. Note, I didn’t use the description ‘fanatical’.

      1. Comrade Jack,
        I gave consent & now I’ve changed my mind?
        When does this process stop?
        Skwawky is obviously one the most objective & independent arbiters on social media……..isn’t that right Skwawky?

      2. I thought that Diane Abbott made an excellent point on the radio this morning; it’s established practice for Trade Unions to have a confirmatory ballot once negotiations have ended.
        We gave consent in 1975, then things changed and we had a 2nd referendum. Things have changed again since 2016. Not least that it’s very uncertain whether there is still a majority in favour of leaving. I don’t think that we’d be having this discussion if Leave had had a 60– 40 majority and if the younger voters who will have to deal with the consequences of leaving weren’t so strongly in favour of staying in.
        Democracy is not just majority rule.

    2. Errr … Steve – in terms of ‘insults’, the score is at least equal. And ad hominem remarks are certainly the province mainly of Leave posts. Which, I agree is no justification. Eye of the beholder?

      … and you’ve just made a generalised one 🙂

      1. RH Agreed! My comment is ‘tongue in cheek’, designed to illustrate a serious point. there are too many ‘nasty’ & insulting comments on both sides & yes I deliberately chose a ‘one eyed pov’ comment. There should be no place for anger & hate on these posts’ I realise that emotions run high & I will leave the Labour Party if it adopts the policy of campaigning to remain. The quality of the debate is at times worth reading, but the quality of the insults leaves a lot to be desired………at least make me laugh.

    3. That’s strange Steve, I’d have said the insults were as much or more the other way. Non leavers are called ‘our resident trolls’ amongst other things. And your own post itself contains 2 insults, including that cliché word ‘remoaner’.
      But I entirely agree that courtesy and reasoned argument is the best way forward.

    4. Steve, glad to hear that the comment was tongue in cheek. The trouble with social media is that it’s often hard to tell!

  6. Steve,”I gave consent & now I’ve changed my mind?
    When does this process stop?”

    It’s a good question but I would have thought that the answer is obvious!

    When people have had three years to make up their mind after now having a good look at the alternatives, the next vote, because of informed consent, will be the final one until maybe at some later stage, if it is obvious that Britain has made the wrong choice, another vote can be held.

    As far as leaving the Party is concerned, it’s a bit ‘dummy out of the pram’ stuff because you can’t get your own undemocratic way!

    Hopefully when we have got rid of Brexit, which after all is a far right wing inspired project, we can get a Labour government which will be beneficial to all and then you’ll have to join again. Save yourself the trouble and stay, we need you now, not after we have fixed (almost) everything.

    Note; no harsh insults, just democratic reasoned argument 🙂

    1. I had the same problem with Blair & left when he was made leader & returned when a ‘Socialist’ was leader of the Labour Party. (I must be one of those fair weather friends). I trust Jeremy will not disappoint but the Blairites are again flexing their muscles.
      Comrade Jack, if the answer to your question is more democracy, then let it rock!. Let’s have membership of the EU on ballot papers every two or three years & in every country of the European Union. I would look forward to results in Greece; Spain; Italy, even Germany. Now that’s democracy in action, just ask the people again & again until you get the result you want?
      Consent is a complex issue that the bourgeoisie are now attempting to define, in one simple context. It applies, not only to public morality, but also to our representatives & not just MPs or even the Police. The Referendum instructed our representatives to find a way to ‘Leave’ the European Union. Are they without integrity?

  7. “Let’s have membership of the EU on ballot papers every two or three years & in every country of the European Union.”

    Steve, when you can’t answer a simple question, without destroying your own argument, this is what’s known as dragging the discussion off into the long grass, it’s unworthy of you.

    Anyway, here is a peace offering, hope your horse did well today.

  8. Steve, you’re being too reasonable now, you’ve knocked me off my defence mode, I prefered you when you were contrary 🙂

  9. Comrades may find interesting Professor Martin Loughlin’s views on the second referendum.

    He argues that, in the largest and most class-correlated vote in recent political history, not implementing and trying to overturn the result of the first referendum will convince voters that the political class is rigged against them, with disastrous consequences.


    1. Danny 06/04/2019 at 7:52 pm

      Nice try Danny but it’d out of date, his whole argument about A50 has been rendered completely obsolete by the the European Courts ruling the UK (whilst it is a member of the EU) has an absolute right to revoke A50. It does not require the approval of any other state or body to do this.

    2. Danny, I’ve read his 2018 article. He says the vote was class based. I think it was rather more complex; in any event, if it was class based, then Leave was a tory class issue. Most labour voters were remain, most tories were leave.
      I agree that any 2nd referendum is going to be bad and divide the country; I also think that not having another referendum would be even worse for the UK. There are no even remotely good options now.
      It’s also why Theresa May’s has dropped below Cameron in my opinion as the worst PM of the last 100 years (Christ! Tories are so bad that Maggie comes in at number 3!). She had opportunities to compromise and seek agreement to try to allow us to leave the EU in a sensible fashion. She has failed utterly.

      1. ” any 2nd referendum is going to be bad and divide the country;….not having another referendum would be even worse for the UK”

        That’s precisely the case. It comes back to ‘I wouldn’t start from here if I was you’.

        Focusing just on the trade issues around leaving the EU, it is now crystal clear that the ‘Leave’ campaign was just spouting fiction about the ease of the process and the beneficial nature of the outcomes. May has compounded the dishonesty by playing to the gallery. The stupidly hasty decision on Article 50 was a crass error.

        Sadly, Labour has also engaged with the fantasies in pretending that a ‘deal’ can be made that replicates the benefits of EU membership. It can’t.

        The all round fantasy/dishonesty has led us to the current state of affairs where the UK is simply a laughable irrelevance – not a potential global exporting giant.

        The country is now totally without real control of its destiny – the exact opposite of what was promised. It’s like the Boeing ‘plane that was sold on a false prospectus, and the only way of regaining some control is to withdraw Article 50 – one thing that is left to UK decision-making.

        Following through that logic, the only way to do that, and to use the necessary time gained, is to promise another referendum based on realistic options of timescale and consequences. Of course the right and its propaganda press will throw their rattles out of the pram and will, once again set to work work on the gullible who have as much knowledge of international trade as of nuclear physics (possibly less).

        But there is no other viable option.

      2. RH “Sadly, Labour has also engaged with the fantasies in pretending that a ‘deal’ can be made that replicates the benefits of EU membership. It can’t.”

        Spot on, and it’s a truth that needs to be told, no matter who it upsets.

  10. Manufacturers are getting scared.

    “Manufacturers are calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to revoke Article 50 – the legal and political process for leaving the EU – if she fails to reach agreement on a Brexit deal next week.

    …………..Lobby group Make UK, representing 20,000 manufacturing firms, has written to Mrs May and Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, saying it is “critical for the future of UK manufacturing businesses and their workforces that we bring the current uncertainty to an end”.

    ……….The letter, seen by The Sunday Times, is from Make UK’s chief executive, Stephen Phipson and comes after two-thirds of the group’s members backed revocation of article 50 if May does not reach a deal by the new deadline of 12 Aprll.

    1. The arguments against Brexit purely from a trade point of view are immense, and no Brexiteers have posited anything but airy fantasy about this key economic consideration

      Unfortunately, a socialist society requires more than hot air for its construction.

      Anyone who doubts the depth of economic mire into which the political class has led the country should read ‘9 Lessons in Brexit’ by Ivan Rogers. It’s less than 100 small pages, so even Brexiteers of little brain such as Grayling and IDS should manage it.

      1. SteveH. A good read and I suspect he doesn’t really want us to go.

        Because we were latecomers to the EU we are a bit like the younger brother who hasn’t really learned to get on with his siblings and never really got the hang of sharing. This is why the dim UKIPers and their right wing followers keep uttering the incessant ‘we want control of our toys’ (laws, borders and money). What they don’t seem to realise is that the toys are in the house to be shared for the benefit of all.

        The younger brother decides he has had enough of sharing and makes plans to leave home and then realises he will have to leave the toys behind because the others had contributed to buying them. Ah, I’ll buy my own he thinks and then it slowly starts to dawn on him that without the contributions of the others, even if he manages to get a job it’s going to take him years to do it. One side of him says I’d better think again but the bloody minded bit says go ahead, you can show ’em. Which side will he listen to?

      2. I’ve yet to hear from the ‘take back control’ protagonists precisely which EU laws or regulations have directly had a detrimental impact on them and which laws or regulations they want to revoke.

      3. …whereas, as a lawyer with an interest in health and safety law I can point just in that area to EU Directives which have improved our existing law.

      4. Simon Dewsbury …whereas, as a lawyer with an interest in health and safety law I can point just in that area to EU Directives which have improved our existing law.

        Yes, ‘CE’ marking for a start which helped to raise safety standards all over Europe and which many foreign buyers use as a gold standard.

      5. Steve – That’s a really good link that you have posted. It needs to be read as a cold dose of reality about Europe and all the manufactured bullshit from the ERG and friends.

        I wrote elsewhere about the power of propaganda that has shaped the ‘antisemitism’ scam. It strikes me that Brexit propaganda is all of a piece with it – the UK has become a home for large numbers of the deluded and gullible.

      6. When even the likes of the Daily Mail’s Peter Oborne now admit that the economic argument for Brexit is lost and it’s time for a rethink, it really is time for a rethink.

      7. To be fair – Peter Oborne has always been an independent thinker rather than just a knee-jerk Tory.

        As I’ve previously pointed out, he called out the Israel lobby a long time ago. That’s way ahead of a fair proportion of the PLP!

      8. Yes, it’s possible to disagree with Oborne’s politics overall and still respect him. And he writes excellent books on cricket, which understand that politics is often involved in international sport. His biography of Basil D’oliveira is a classic, and is devastating about the pro apartheid attitudes of the cricket authorities in the 1960s

  11. Even the most ardent Brexiteer can change their mind when confronted by the evidence.

    I was a strong Brexiteer. Now we must swallow our pride and think again
    If we are to leave the European Union we want a sensible Brexit. There’s no chance of that just now.
    Peter Oborne
    7 April 2019

    It’s nearly three years since I, along with 17. 4 million other Britons, voted for Brexit. Today I have to admit that the Brexit project has gone sour.
    Brexit has paralysed the system. It has turned Britain into a laughing stock. And it is certain to make us poorer and to lead to lower incomes and lost jobs.

    We Brexiteers would be wise to acknowledge all this. It’s past time we did. We need to acknowledge, too, that that we will never be forgiven if and when Brexit goes wrong.

    Future generations will look back at what we did and damn us.

    So I argue, as a Brexiteer, that we need to take a long deep breath. We need to swallow our pride, and think again. Maybe it means rethinking the Brexit decision altogether.

    1. Even more confirmation that Labour MPs such as Ian Lavery who object to another vote have got it wrong.

      It is imperrative that if we have a GE, Labour promises to ditch Brexit but in the meantime we MUST CAMPAIGN for another vote.

  12. SteveH “Should Jeremy Corbyn make a public vote a condition of supporting any Brexit deal, including one that meets his five demands?”

    It would be bordering on stupidity not to.

    1. It would also be a betrayal of the majority of our members and voters. We are still a members led party, aren’t we?

    1. Steve, that’s a thought provoking article. Peter Oborne has just confessed to forgetting about Ireland when he voted for Brexit. We should not fall into the same trap with our LP comrades in Scotland.

    2. It’s a corrective to pie-in -the-sky Lexit fantasies that Labour has handed the SNP the high ground in Scotland – and the polls show it. Had Labour had its traditional representation in Scotland, the last election result would have looked a bit different.

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