Major affiliated union NEC approves motion: no referendum – we need “transformative Labour govt”

Left-supporting CWU’s National Executive Committee approves anti-referendum motion for ratification at its conference this week: “it is time for the UK to move on

CWU, the Communication Workers’ Union, is one of the UK’s major Labour-affiliated trade unions – and one of the most solidly pro-Corbyn. Members submitted a motion to the union’s conference, which begins today in Bournemouth, emphatically rejecting the notion of campaigning for a new Brexit referendum – and calling on the UK to move on from the ‘hugely divisive’ issue.

“the overriding principle should be Labour’s Manifesto commitment to accept the result of the referendum and deliver a Brexit deal that prioritises jobs and living standards”

The full motion reads (emphases added):


Conference notes the decision of the European Council on 10th April 2019 to extend the UK’s exit date under article 50 to 31st October and that nearly three years on from the referendum, as a result of the Tories’ complete mishandling of negotiations, the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is still mired in uncertainty.

The referendum itself was hugely divisive and the mainstream campaign was dominated by two right-wing visions for the future – on the one hand defending the status quo and on the other offering up right-wing populism. Neither came close to representing the interests or the voice of workers.

Since then, Conference recognises that the division of the UK along Leave and Remain lines has become more entrenched. Whilst Labour Party policy has been to keep all options on the table, this Conference believes that the overriding principle should be Labour’s Manifesto commitment to accept the result of the referendum and deliver a Brexit deal that prioritises jobs and living standards. Therefore, Conference endorses the NEC position not to campaign for a second referendum/people’s vote and recognises that the CWU’s primary role is to unite our members and all workers around a transformative domestic agenda that builds on Labour’s 2017 Manifesto and delivers a new deal for workers. However, in the event of a further vote taking place, Conference instructs the NEC to hold a national policy forum to agree the union’s position.

Furthermore, while Conference would oppose a damaging no-deal scenario, we believe it is time for the UK to move on and would support a deal agreed by the Labour leadership which protects workers and avoids a hard border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The CWU should continue to argue that any deal should be consistent with a democratic socialist transformation of the UK economy in relation to competition, the undercutting of workers and public ownership and investment.

Given growing levels of inequality in the UK, as evidenced by a decade of stagnating wages, an explosion of in-work and child poverty, homelessness and insecurity, and Tory-led austerity, Conference recognises that, in or out of the EU, the only thing that will really improve CWU members’ and workers’ lives is a transformative Labour government that will deliver an irreversible shift in wealth and power in the UK. Conference agrees that fighting to secure this must continue to be the number one priority of our political work.

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

In a week where the Labour Party’s NEC will finalise Labour’s position on any so-called ‘confirmatory vote’ or referendum, one of Labour’s major union partners has delivered a clear and emphatic message:

In or out of the EU, Tory government is a disaster for this country. In or out of the EU, only a Labour government can bring the change millions are crying out for.

The CWU gets it.

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  1. Good on the CWU.

    But their resolution is self-contradictory.

    On the one hand it parrots the usual scared guff about “a damaging no-deal scenario” – as if tariffs (much eroded by devaluation) and a border checks (much reduced or eliminated by side-agreements already made with the EU) were the absolute end of the world, essentially the Margaret Thatcher position in favour of extolling the virtues of capitalist free trade.

    Yet on the other hand “no-deal” is the only way to make lawful the “transformative domestic agenda”, “democratic socialist transformation in relation to competition” and “public ownership and investment” (where this means public monopoly and investment significant enough to distort the single market) which the same motion also claims to support.

    Since the overriding purpose of the EU is the constitutional protection of capitalism, “any deal which is consistent with a democratic socialist transformation of the economy”, as per the resolution, is essentially a plea for a “no deal” outcome.


    1. Danny if you achieve your dream of a no deal Brexit (which incidentally is in direct conflict with Labour Party policy) what do you think will happen the next time we get a Tory government with a descent majority.?

      1. Again with the ‘descent (sic) majority’ .

        What do YOU think will happen? The same as has ALWAYS happened under tory governments while we were in the EU.

        F**k me, you’d think the EU were some sort of last line of defence when they’ve been no such bastard thing except another layer of bureaucracy that we’ll be no worse off without.

        When did the EU prevent the flogging off of the NHS? They’re of the opposite mindset.

        When did the EU put a stop on exploitative zero hour contracts? They encouraged them.

        When did the EU demand we look after the disabled instead of killing them off with welfare cuts? Errrmmmm…Nope.

        Need I go on?

      2. I’ve seen some contradictory inmaginings written about the virtues of leaving the EU – but the illogic here about it being some sort of dictatorial guard against self harm – chosen by this country all on its own (remember – one of its flaws is the theft of sovereignty?) – takes the biscuit.

  2. The unions thwarted the wishes of the membership at conference and it looks like they are at it again. The unions won last time, I wonder who will win this time and if it’s the unions again will it turn out to be a pyrrhic victory

    1. Labour Party policy is to accept the referendum result. I guess you haven’t read the Party manifesto.

      That position delivered 40% of the vote at the last election, a 3.5 million vote increases on the 2015 election.

      If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

      1. The current policy on Brexit was decided at the 2018 conference and this policy superseded the 2017 Manifesto.
        To argue otherwise would display a complete ignorance of how Labour Party policy is decided.

      2. Again, you have incorrectly stated Labour’s Brexit position.

        The party manifesto policy, confirmed by Conference, is to respect the referendum result. A second referendum option was only proposed to stop no deal or if May’s deal was passed in Parliament.

        Neither of those scenarios are going to happen, so it follows that a second referendum is now off the table.

        Labour has followed the Conference motion to the letter. The party has supported the second referendum amendment but it has been repeatedly voted down. There is no majority for the amendment in the Commons.

        You can huff and puff until you are blue in the face, it won’t change anything. The party has now moved on and we are focused on delivering a deal which will respect the referendum result whilst minimising the impact of leaving. That is how Labour will address the concerns of both leave and remain voters and bring the country back together again.

        This has been a very divisive chapter in the country’s history. Your attempts to cause further division are unhelpful and self defeating. The reason the Tories will never support a second referendum is because they know they will be wiped out if they do, yet you are calling on Labour to do that.

        You are demanding Labour support an amendment that will never be passed and suffer electoral annihilation as a result.

        You are simply not thinking rationally.

      3. Internal Affairs

        “….. a second referendum is now off the table.”

        Not according to RLB this morning! – keep up IA.

      4. I am not bound by the same restrictions as Rebecca.

  3. “in or out of the EU, the only thing that will really improve CWU members’ and workers’ lives is a transformative Labour government”
    The only thing that will get transformed out of the EU with a hard Brexit- that this stance will facilitate- is poverty, poverty and more poverty.
    There will be no room for a transformative Labour Government, jus the sounds of a crashing economy.

    1. .. and guess who’ll get the blame for a generation, it will be 2008 and Labour wrecked the economy all over again.

      1. They could have easily pointed out that it was not Labour that caused 2008 or what happened after. Many, many opportunities, both in the press and on TV.

        Yet they never really did, did they?

        Things that make you go hmmm…

        (Not that I believe Labour caused the GFC)

    2. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s currently poverty, poverty and more poverty…

      Which is why we’re here to begin with.

      1. This is chicken feed compared to the poverty inflicted post a hard Brexit, coupled with the hard immigration policy. NHS will further collapse, and social care collapse will be profound.
        Still on the other hand we can all feel good about having got back the sovereignty we never lost together with our blue passports.

  4. As we know, some unions are swinging more and more to the right, thinking that preventing freedom of movement will help to protect their members’ jobs. They are therefore trying to enable Brexit by denying the electorate a chance to change their mind. Not only is it anti-democratic, it is short sighted and insular.

    1. Could you explain how respecting the largest democratic mandate in British history is anti-democratic?

      Your proposition doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It’s clearly an absurd argument.

      Also, your position on freedom of movement is a nationalist argument. Whilst freedom of movement could work in theory if it were underpinned by a pan European minimum wage and massive investment in poorer EU states to level the playing field, it is currently not a freedom at all for most people, it is movement caused by economic coercion.

      Workers from poorer EU states are forced to move to richer EU states to make a living. Losing millions of their best and brightest workers suppresses economic growth in those countries, thus creating economic conditions which enable the rise of the far right across Europe.

      1. I suggest you read Jack T’s comment again, it really doesn’t say what you claim it does. But you knew that already didn’t you.

      2. Internal Affairs

        “Could you explain how respecting the largest democratic mandate in British history is anti-democratic?”

        Certainly, now pay attention because you need to repeat it to your anti-democratic friends.

        The referendum result was three years ago and much has changed since then including the make-up of our population and the ‘facts’ which were promoted by the leave campaign all go to make the result stale and unreliable. Oh and by the way, the illegality of the the Leave campaign.

        While you ponder that, please get back to me with an answer to my earlier question – how do you know that 17.4 million voters or more still support Brexit?

      3. I don’t have to prove anything. You are the person claiming people have changed their minds, the burden of proof is on you to prove that.

        You aren’t the sharpest tool in the box, are you?

      4. Internal Affairs

        “I don’t have to prove anything. You are the person claiming people have changed their minds, the burden of proof is on you to prove that.”

        You’re a little tinker, I didn’t claim anyone has changed their minds, just that it was a possiblity. Nor have I asked you to prove anything, all I asked you to do is substantiate the claim you keep making that not honouring the referendum result is denying the wishes of 17.4 million voters three years ago. How do you know they still feel the same? The short answer is you don’t if you don’t ask them but you are too terrified to do it.

        “You aren’t the sharpest tool in the box, are you?”

        Maybe not but I did get 3/3 in yesterday’s Independent IQ test, mind you it took me about five minutes 🙁

      5. I am a democratic socialist, so I respect democratic results. If you don’t respect democratic result you cannot claim to be a democrat.

        Democratic results aren’t like food in a supermarket. They have no expiry date, they continue to stand until they are implemented. Usually they are immediately implemented but with the referendum result the schedule was always going to take a period of years, so your point is completely irrelevant.

        The only people who seem to be terrified of democracy are hardline remainers like you who refuse to accept the largest democratic mandate in British history.

        Regarding your second point, could you provide a link to the Electoral Commission ruling which overturns the referendum result? Because if you can’t then the result still stands, so there is no point vexatiously complaining about it all the time.

        Have you got any other points to make or is that all you’ve got?

    2. Jack let you off the hook with the ‘result’ claim. Isn’t he kind?

      Apart from anything else, the ‘result’ was a split vote that has no credibility in commanding any constitutional change. Even the local knitting circle would require a more convincing mandate.

      It was actually a 37% *minority* vote – far less than the original referendum result that it seeks to overturn.

      Accepting the mickey-mouse notion of a simple majority dictating a constitutional change, actually reinforces the point about the need for another referendum, since such results – as in a general election – come with an opportunity to revisit the question.

      There is nothing sacred about the minority vote of the referendum as the ‘Peeple Swill’. The result is as irrelevant as the dead parrot now that time has moved on and the lack of sustainable arguments for Brexit has been revealed.

      … even if there are still some individuals around who will vote for Boris Johnson, Farade and Rees-Mogg.and sister.

      Let’s test the question. It’s known as ‘democracy’.

  5. Please extremists on both sides stop pleasuring yourselves in public
    To No Deal disaster master millionaires what was it that first attracted you to No Deal
    And to snowflake neverenders what was it that first attracted Blairites to a second referendum
    Labour Brexit policy honours the result 52/48, Brino and start to bringing country back together

    1. Who in their right mind, from either side, would accept BRINO. What was it that
      first attracted you to BRINO

    2. At least you’ve found something to unite both sides. Kudos.

      Who wants BRINO?!?!

    3. Sorry, Doug, but being polite about a stupid idea that will screw the country – and the worst off most of all – isn’t an option.

  6. Because it appears to be contradictory in saying that all CLP reps are behind Corbyn’s position but in effect saying Lansman is leading CLPs towards Starmer’s position???

    1. This is what happens to parties which don’t respect the referendum result and fail to deliver Brexit, Jack.


      It is almost as if the social democrat Keir Starmer doesn’t want a socialist Labour government to be elected. He probably thinks his career prospects will be enhanced if Labour loses the next election. That is probably why he is pushing for a second referendum.

      What is bad for Labour is good for Keir it would seem.

  7. Well done CWU.
    If Labour backs a 2nd PV or confirmatory vote it will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and end up like Pasok.

    1. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that sticking two fingers up to 17,400,000 voters when it only takes 13m votes to win a general election is electoral suicide.

      Labour would be wiped out if it failed to implement Brexit and the Tories would remain in power indefinitely.

      It is almost as if that is exactly what the People’s Vote campaign led by Tony Blair wants to happen.


      1. Internal Affairs

        “You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that sticking two fingers up to 17,400,000 voters when it only takes 13m votes to win a general election is electoral suicide.”

        After giving it a quantum of thought my conclusion is you ain’t no Einstein. What about the 30 million who didn’t vote Brexit?

      2. Everything is relative. Compared to you I am.

        I have seen this absurd argument before where remainers count people who are not part of the electorate. Desperate stuff.

        I will leave you to return to the beginning of your list of people’s vote talking points and go through them all again and again and again. Too boring and irrelevant for me I’m afraid. If you wish to waste your life posting rubbish like that is up to you.

        You must be getting paid by people’s vote to troll this site. If you aren’t then you are as big a fool as you sound.

        I shan’t waste any more time with you. You’re a second rate troll. Make that third rate. You’re useless.

      3. Internal Affairs

        “remainers count people who are not part of the electorate. Desperate stuff.”

        I.A. I know you are definitely not Einstein but check out the size of the British electorate, just a hint, it is rather more than 17.4 million and by definition they ARE part of the electorate. I’ve not counted them into anything but unlike you I’ve recognised their existence.

        Regarding getting paid, to be honest I wish I was but debating with you is so much fun I do it for nothing.

        By the way, your attempt at an Einstein funny failed.

      4. “You must be getting paid by people’s vote to troll this site.”

        I’m looking for a term to describe the polar opposite of Ockam’s Razor – to describe convoluted conspiratorial thinking that totally misses the target.

        ‘Internal Affairs’ Rubber Penknife’?

  8. It would appear that the bourgeoisie have the moral high ground with their superior IQs, while the working classes have to depend simply on our emotions. …….but it doesn’t take the IQ of Einstein to understand that the people of Britain were asked in a Referendum, which was agreed by MPs, to make a decision as to whether or not we should remain in or leave the European Union. The Clash could not have put it in more simple terms. Now our elected representatives must implement that decision or face the consequences. The bourgeoisie may not like the result, but the consequences of reneging on the vote will destroy any trust in our democracy. If the Labour Party campaigns for a 2nd Referendum, I shall again leave it in the hands of the Blairites.

    1. Steve, before you throw your dummy out of the pram, give the electorate the opportunity to affirm their original choice, which incidentally, wasn’t binding. Or has informed consent been deleted from your version of Socialism?

      1. I see the people’s vote troll is still insulting people.

        A winning strategy. Not.

        I’ve had enough fun at your expense Jack. Trolls like you are ten a penny. Seen it all before mate. You’re a complete dickhead.

        Goodbye troll.

      2. She probably knew the difference between cabbage and a pile of rotting old shite, however.

      3. Internal Affairs

        I thought you had been humiliated enough and were off to nurse your wounds – Monty Python?

    2. “The bourgeoisie may not like the result”

      Beep! Beep! Bullshit alert! Bullshit alert!

      (See : ‘Eternal Tory governments justified by the last election’)

      Hint : Even a tediously long time ago, the majority of the electorate showed no predeliction for Brexit.

      1. (See : ‘Eternal Tory governments justified by the last election’)

        Your alter ego seems to think it’ll be the case and that the EU won’t be there to ‘protect’ us from those nasty toerags.

        Of course, he doesn’t say as much, but we all know that’s what being angled at.

        But then again, it’s because of the likes of you brave remainers and the eu that we have an nhs & welfare state, isn’t it, steve?.

      2. The Toffee (597) 29/04/2019 at 4:32 pm

        If you want to expose yourself as a dishonest prat by deliberately misrepresenting what I wrote then I guess that.’s your choice

      3. Accused of dishonesty and misrepresentation….by steve h…with no trace of hypocrisy, irony or shame.

        ….Oh, my aching sides.

        (NB, did anyone else notice the non-denial of the alter ego?)

      4. The Toffee (597) 29/04/2019 at 5:38 pm

        “Accused of dishonesty and misrepresentation….by steve h…with no trace of hypocrisy, irony or shame.”

        Thank you for acknowledging my accusation. However there is no hypocrisy in telling the truth and there is no shame in telling the truth
        it is noteworthy that you tried bluster and distraction but you didn’t deny it.

      5. No steve – I dont deny youv’e tried to conflate your pro eu stance with the founding of the nhs & welfare state. Don’t make me cut & paste the evidence here..

        ‘No shame in telling the truth’ , he says.

        How’d he know, I wonder?

      6. The Toffee (597) 30/04/2019 at 7:26 am · ·
        “No steve – I dont deny youv’e tried to conflate your pro eu stance with the founding of the nhs & welfare state. Don’t make me cut & paste the evidence here..”

        Knock yourself out, cut and paste away. In the meantime here’s a link direct to my actual comment so that others can see our respective comments in full and in context and make up their own minds.

        They can all look at the ridiculous nonsense that you posted (repeatedly) in response to my comment.

        Hope you have fun with your scissors & glue.

      7. Do you have someone that looks after you? Could I speak to them instead because I really need to make this clear to you…

        SteveH 26/04/2019 at 4:50 pm ·

        We wouldn’t have a NHS or a Welfare System if our predecessors had all been as timid as you.

        Now, to any onlooker this is evidence that you’ve convinced yerself that you and you ‘brave’ remainers are some sort of pioneers/visionaries in the same manner as Bevin.

        You’re NOTHING of the sort.

        Bevin gave us the NHS. Remain want to give us more of the same SHIT we’ve endured for 40 or more years.

        Conversely (And perversely) for anyone what voted leave you’re attempting to portray them as akin to those who opposd the nhs.

        If not, WHY did you make the original comparison?

        You’ve proved youself to be nowt more than a self-righteous, ignoramus.

      8. The Toffee (597) 30/04/2019 at 3:27 pm

        If you choose to wilfully misinterpret what I said that’s entirely up-to you. Somehow I doubt that whatever you choose to make up will have much impact on my life. For my part I’m quite happy for anyone who’s interested (I doubt there will be many) to follow the link I posted earlier direct to my actual comment. You can find the link here

  9. Does anybody else wonder if the divisions we’re currently experiencing parallel those in the lead up to past civil wars?
    Or if not war, that extreme violence might be just around the corner?
    If it is will it be left v right, London v the UK, leavers v remainers, maydealers v nodealers or some weird coalition of ‘moderate’ leavers and remainers v those nasty extremist elements on either or both sides?

    Or might it be us v PM-designate Sugar or Yaxley-Lennon and the Trumpo-Zionist invasion forces here to save the country from the acknowledged terrorist, traitor and discredited ‘so-called Prime Minister’ Corbyn?
    Or do I just need to stop eating cheese at bedtime?

    1. Well – it is interesting that this was a non-issue for people before the extreme right took control of the Tory Party (and a few brains within Labour).

  10. ‘morning comrade Jack,
    I understand what you say, but I fundamentally disagree & will not support a political party that I believe is working against my best interests & the interests of the country. Blair is still the puppet master & the Zionists control the NEC & we will never be allowed to stop them, too powerful, too entrenched & well hidden (unless I too am eating too much cheese @ bedtime.

  11. Morning Steve, you know quite well that Blair has zero influence on those of us on the left who want to put the final decision on Brexit back to the people, we just have a different view to you.

    However you are perfectly correct to point to the Zionist’s control of the NEC and one of their tools to do it is the split on the left. The Labour Party has now become a shield to protect the racist government of Israel and their illegal colonisation of Palestinian land and THAT is where Blair DOES exert a malevolent influence.

  12. “Left-supporting CWU’s National Executive Committee approves anti-referendum motion”

    BTW : Contradiction in terms. Supporting right-wing Tory policy by blocking democratic process isn’t, by any definition ‘left wing’. Unless Stalin was a lefty.

    1. “Left-supporting CWU’s National Executive Committee approves anti-referendum motion”

      It’s just the spin Skwawky puts on everything to try and bluff his way to Brexit. It’s his blog and if he wants to believe right is left and anti-democracy is democracy it’s his prerogative, he may fool some.

      1. On 1st June, 2017 the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution calling on European Union States & their institutions to adopt & apply the IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism.

        September, 2018, NEC voted to adopt all 11 examples of Anti-Semitism unamended & a few days later the PLP voted to adopt this definition by a majority of 205 votes. The Tories & the Lib Dems have also agreed to abide by the IHRA definition, only the Green Party objected citing “the definition is politically engineered to restrict criticism of Israel’s heinous crimes upon the Palestinian people”.

        This was also accepted by delegates @ the Labour Party Conference.

      2. Steve – You’ve put your finger on a major problem related to the power of the Israel lobby across the western world. It all depends upon the concept of collective guilt, and many don’t have the moral fibre to resist that blackmail. So the new racists exploit it.

  13. Far from ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist as does the NEC and the LP – I’m referring to Israeli control and influence – we need to call it out and highlight its evils.

    My CLP voted on a motion to get Iain McNicol to investigate the ‘Isareli Lobby’ documentary but we were told by the LP no action could be taken because the matter was under review by the watchdog. After the review, nothing was done. We then presented the motion to Jennie Formby and were told that the case was closed.

    Because the Party refuses to explain to the public that it is not anti-Semitic to criticise Zionism and Zionist influence we will continue to get the ridiculous suspensions of people such as Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and others.

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