Revealed: MSM’s vastly exaggerated claims that Labour MPs won’t back Brexit deal if no ‘confirmatory vote’

Numbers claimed by ‘mainstream’ media demonstrably inflated
One of a number of misleading articles

An analysis of Labour documents reveals that the claims of the ‘mainstream’ media about the resistance of Labour MPs to a Brexit deal with no new public vote do not stand up to scrutiny.

So-called ‘mainstream’ outlets have variously claimed that ‘a majority’, or ‘two thirds’, or ‘over 100’ Labour MPs have said they would ‘refuse’ to back any deal agreed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May if it does not include a ‘confirmatory vote’ (CV) – a new referendum in all but name:

Not just absence of evidence

However, the evidence that exists of such resistance consists of letters published by Labour MPs – and the numbers do not add up.

In fact, the evidence indicates a maximum of eighty-three MPs who have expressed an intention to resist any deal not including a new public vote. The numbers for the various letters sent – which have been cross-checked to ensure that any names not appearing on all the letters are still included in the above maximum number – are as follows:

  • 16.01.19: 71 Labour MPs (including MPs who are now TIG/Change)
  • 08.04.19: 83 Labour MPs
  • 26.04.18: 82 Labour MPs

Contrary to many ‘mainstream’ media reports, the number of MPs who want to resist a non-CV deal does not constitute two-thirds of Labour MPs – nor even a majority. Instead, a maximum of about one in three Labour MPs have put their names to letters calling for a new vote.

And not even all of those have said they would defy a Labour ‘3-line whip’ – a political party’s ultimate instruction to vote along a particular line – to back any deal that Corbyn and May might agree.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Talks between Labour and the Tories are ongoing – and a successful conclusion threatens to bypass the small hard-core of centrist MPs who would prefer overturning the referendum to winning a general election, with the voting arithmetic in the Commons looking solid for the passage of an amended deal if Corbyn approves one.

Why might remain-obsessed centrists might exaggerate or misleadingly present the number of potential rebels in an attempt to either sink the discussions or force a new public vote into the equation against Labour policy?

Tough call.

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  1. Hardline remainers in Labour and hardline Brexiteers in the Tory party do not have the numbers to block the deal.

    It is now just a question of agreeing the deal.

    The only fly in the ointment is Keir Starmer. If he demands another vote he will face three options. He can choose to shut up, resign or be sacked. Sacking him would be the most favourable option as it would provide Mr Corbyn, the next prime minister, with the perfect opportunity to stamp his authority on the party and let backstabbing greasy pole climbers like Starmer know who is the boss.

    I can say that freely now because the right wing has no time to do anything about it.

    1. Internal Affairs, your post does not in the least shock me, just proves a my suspicion that you hanker after an authotarian system whereby anybody diverting from the opinion laid down as law is hung drawn and quartered. We have seen these systems. They were represented by Stalin and Hitler to name but two and nowadays Kim ung yung . You expect JC to act in his way by wanting JC to “stamp his authority on the party”. This again only shows to me how little you understand the man and/or the meaning of democracy.

  2. What another pathetic post by the Skwawk: the talks have broken down, there’ll be no deal between May’s Tories and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Have noted how you’re no longer harping on about this imminent, impending, non-existent General Election!

    1. Why should there be a deal, actually? The notion that the Tories and Labour be in agreement over the fundamental limits of economic governance truly smacks of Ramsay MacDonaldism. It gives credence to contemporary grievances of politicians being “all the same” and having more in common with their supposed political opponents than with those they seek to represent.

      There is a far stronger argument that Labour should never have besmirched itself with negotiating with Theresa May and the Tories in the first place. This could easily have been lent legitimacy by putting up preconditions relating to governmental freedoms over public ownership and state subsidies – freedoms a reforming socialist government would desperately need – which May wouldn’t have worn.

    2. “there’ll be no deal between May’s Tories and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour”

      Of course not. It’s not in Labour’s interest (even the recidivists recognize that the current level of support for the essentially Tory policy has done enough damage), and the Tories won’t stomach it, either, even if the tattered May would see it as a rescue.

      And yes, Joe – the GE idea is a snowball in hell after the Tories’ recent showing.

      So things stay stuck. Surprise, surprise!

      Out of which state there is only one feasible exit – another vote. Yes, we all know the arguments against – but there isn’t another route save capitulation on one side or the other.

      Of course, we are getting all the vox pop stuff about ‘get on with it’, ‘they’re all the same’, yadda yadda fed through the MSM. But, in actuality the log jam in parliament is as accurate a reflection of public opinion as I’ve seen for some time : dazed, frustrated and confused.

      … and all proof of the stupidity of the Tory referendum as framed. Which is another reason for resetting the whole business.

      But the ERG supporters in the Party do prefer playtime to the lessons of politics.

      1. Rafael Behr has always been generally anti-Corbyn. But once you factor that in, his current article (in Wednesday’s Groan) on the Brexit impasse contains some real analysis of the current uncomfortable dilemma facing Labour, amongst which is the obvious corrective to the focus on the leaver vote :

        “Swings to the Liberal Democrats in last week’s council elections suggest that Labour support in leave areas depends heavily on the local remainer community”.

      2. The first problem here is one of not comparing like with like. Let’s consider this statement as a starting point:

        “Swings to the Liberal Democrats in last week’s council elections suggest that Labour support in leave areas depends heavily on the local remainer community”.

        The figures, albeit on a low turn out (more on that in a moment) show that both Labour and Conservatives saw an equal swing of minus 7% each. Yet the Lib- Dems only recorded a swing of plus 2%. The big winners being the various independents who are mainly pro- Brexit. However, these are total figures and don’t tell us a great deal about what went on in leave areas, particularly ones in Northern and Midlands seats which the Labour Party need to retain or win from other Parties in an election.

        The confusion in the arguments being consistently articulated on this matter seems to be a failure to either recognise or understand that the in/out EU referendum or any further vote on the issue is a binary choice; whereas an election – local or General – is not. Whether this failure of comparing apples with bent bananas is accidental or deliberate obtuseness is something for readers to make their own judgement.

        We have some indication from some areas of why and how this simplistic argument of trying to force a square peg into a round hole is total nonsense. On this matter the Labour Councillor in Yorkshire who criticised Stella Creasey got it spot on.

        The Constituency in which I reside voted leave, as did a number of neighbouring Constituencies. At local election level the nearest large Town (Barnsley) whilst retaining Labour control had its worse result in 15 years. Yet, in this neighbouring Ward, for the second year in a row Labour took the seat (even though it got fewer votes than last year) in what was previously a Lib Dem stronghold which in recent times has been dominated by UKIP on the local Town Council.

        Last year the UKIP vote all but collapsed and the main challenges were the Conservatives. The reason they did not win the seat from UKIP was because the anti EU/pro Brexit vote split between the Conservatives, UKIP and the Yorkshire Party.

        This year, despite theit national vote going down the UKIP vote in this leave Ward went up,whilst the Tory vote went down but the same split in the anti EU/pro Brexit vote gifted Labour the seat. In both cases the Lib Dems were only just ahead of the YP and this year were behind the Green Party


        Tory – 2018 = 1103 – 2019 = 662
        UKIP – 2018 = 547 – 2019 = 1077
        YP – 2018 = 405 – 2019 = 330
        LD – 2018 = 591 – 2019 = 557

        The other interesting fact about this year was the number of spoilt ballot papers in which the letters B.R.E.X.I.T was written in each blank space against candidate names.

        This has relevance to the turn out, which is consistently low in local elections anyway. The argument that a significant factor this time around for the low turn out is down to voter dissatisfaction in leave voting areas about the non delivery of the Brexit many of those voted for has legs.

        Going around the Constituency earlier in the year with a by election petition, following the resignation of the pro EU MP from the LP, I lost count of the number of angry people who voted to leave who, despite being in favour of the petition, took the position that it was a waste of time because no one took any notice of them or their views and they felt they are being treated with disdain and contempt.

        That will not last when it comes to either a GE or a second vote.

        Whether anyone likes it or not is a total irrelevance. Two facts exist. Firstly, that to win an election the LP needs those leaver votes in THOSE Constituencies more than it needs the remainer votes.

        Secondly, the idea that a second or PV referendum is a slam dunk for a remain win and will put this issue to bed would make Walter Mitty and Don Quixote appear paragons of realistic thinking.

        The implicit, and sometimes explicit, argument contained in the arguments of many fellow remainer’s that the 17.4 million who voted leave are all (without exception) fixated on immigration is a comfort blanket of those who cannot be arsed to think. It is no coincidence that the highest voting leave areas across the LP heartlands of the North & the Midlands are those whose communities have been hardest hit from de-industrialisation since Thatcher and austerity.

        Those in the LP who do know their arse from their elbow recognise that the only sensible and realistic way of addressing these realities is to tackle austerity and reverse the failed economic policy dogma of the past forty years. Until that is prioritised the notion of “let them eat referendums” being peddled by the hard of thinking is the worst form of infantile dysfunction which will come back and bite not just it’s adherents in the arse everyone else.

        Their is no realistic possibility of the Parliamentary arithmetic of this current Parliament passing the legislation necessary for a PV. It has been tried and failed on three occasions. Traditionally, the methodology employed to change that arithmetic is via a General Election. Consequently, the only realistic and logical route to second vote is to have a GE.

        However, to win any second referendum requires that the causes of the leave vote, particularly in those communities left with nothing else to lose from a failed dogma just as prevalent in the EU as it is in the UK, are tackled. That requires a Government and administration pursuing a policy agenda totally different from that of the past forty years.

        Right now the only tool in the tool box looking in that direction with a realistic chance of carrying that out is the current LP.

        The reality is therefore, for anyone who wants to claim they are serious about winning a second vote, that the only route to that is a GE – to change the Parliamentary arithmetic to enable the legislation and to tackle the fundamental underlying factors which drove, and continue to drive, the larger proportion of the leave vote and sentiment.

        For some, and it is obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse, that reality poses something of a dilemna. For those of that ilk who claim to be in favour of the original core principles and ideals behind the European project that dilemna presents itself, at least in their minds, as the well documented hierarchical and managerial systems choice between being right or being in control. It is therefore not difficult to predict that despite the claims of being pro Europe many of them will prefer Brexit to a Corbyn Government.

    3. There’s nothing pathetic about pointing out MSM propaganda.

      Except to those who believe it!

      1. Indeed, timfrom. Which is why some of us constantly point out how the Brexit case was based on MSM propaganda.

  3. Skwarkie’s sustained campaign against a second referendum is most welcome but he tends to treat it as the be-all-and-end-all whereas I don’t think it would save Labour’s bacon even if his stance were embraced less ambivalently by the Party leadership. Rejecting the PV is unlikely to be a panacea. Respecting the referendum result means that we actually LEAVE the European Union. Wheezes such as voting with the Tories to postpone Brexit for another HALF A YEAR simply do not suggest respect for the referendum result, particularly when they will in all likelihood be followed up by a rolling programme of further postponements. Labour may well be punished at the polls on the 23rd as a result.

    1. ” Respecting the referendum result”

      A key phrase as a litmus for testing for nonsense as the contradictory substitute for argument.

  4. The faux left and Juncker junkies are out in force today: Skwawk’s subsequent post with the latest General Election polling ought to shut them up. The elections on 23rd May are an irrelevance; they will give us no idea of what people really think because, as has always happened in the past, the vast majority of the populace, knowing that they are electing ciphers with no power to change anything, use them a repository/toilet for protest votes. Thus it will be no surprise if Farage tops the poll again in these elections and subsequently fails to win a single seat in the UK parliament. May’s “deal” is Brexit in Name Only and Labour’s position is a slightly more nuanced version of the same thing – BRINO. Despite what the anti-Corbyn shitrag, AKA The Guardian, would have people think, there is no majority on the Tory benches for a no-deal, hard Brexit just as there is no majority on the Labour benches for a confirmatory vote. There is no majority across the house for a 2nd referendum. The only majority that exists is for some version of the BRINO. Whether anyone is capable of agreeing some sort of fudge (that will certainly keep business happy) out of this is another matter altogether. It would allow the Brexit issue to be put behind for the time being (at least until the contradictions of BRINO became apparent at some future point) and permit concentration on the things that really matter to people and getting rid of the hollowed out shell that is today’s Tory government. The problem is that the British ruling class (which is by no means monolithic or of a single mind) has two major fears 1) A real BREXIT and 2) A Corbyn led Labour government; that the second fear outweighs the first is the reason for the political logjam that currently exists. I can only see two realistic outcomes; an agreement between the two biggest parties followed by a general election or mass extra-parliamentary action to force the present government from office. Neither is particularly pretty but as the veteran South African Communist Denis Goldberg, who was imprisoned with Mandela, said on Radio 4 this morning à propos the SA elections today “sometimes politics comes down to the least bad option.”

  5. “sometimes politics comes down to the least bad option.”

    … which is clearly a third referendum.

    “The faux left”

    … as you say – but not where you’re looking. 🙂

    1. What happens when the outcome is the same as the last one? Have remainers not seen the rise of the right in the polls? A second referendum would be a disaster, but the centrists don’t care as the just want to damage Jeremy.

      1. Indeed. There are too many faux remainer’s in the LP who faced with a choice between Brexit or a Corbyn Government are giving every indication they would prefer Brexit.

        They are well aware of the electoral damage which will ensue in leave voting areas of the North & Midlands which the LP needs to retain or win to form a Government as a result of following their fantasy approach.

        The level of groupthink and denial of the realities on display is a sad a pathetic sight to behold. Like all managerialists with a fixation about the hierarchical pips on their shoulders they prioritise being in control over the blindingly obvious realities.

        As a result you get shallow superficial arguments based on the simplistic notion, passed off as analysis, that the key driver behind the Brexit vote and continued level of support for leave is down to media propaganda alone.

        Hardly surprising really that those who peddle such nonsense would seek to downplay the role of forty years of neglect of the LP base in many of those communities across the North and Midlands (“they have nowhere else to go” – unquote) and the austerity they themselves supported. Alongside, of course, the failed policies which created that leave vote which they continue to champion.

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