Analysis News

Shadow Cabinet members tell Corbyn: respect Brexit vote, no ref before GE

Lavery, Trickett and others remind Labour leader of 2017 commitment to enact 2016 referendum result
Labour Party chair Ian Lavery

A number of Shadow Cabinet members, including party chair Ian Lavery and and senior member Jon Trickett, have expressed concerns about the recent push by some colleagues to manoeuvre Labour into a ‘full remain’ stance aiming for a referendum before a general election.

Correspondence seen by the BBC show the senior Labour figures warning that such an attempt can only backfire – both failing to pass and damaging Labour electorally in the process.

The Shadow Cabinet members – who include some of Corbyn’s closest advisers – believe any referendum motion will not have enough Commons support and a Labour attempt to push one would simply set the party up to be seen failing.

Prioritising a referendum also risks making Labour seem afraid to fight a general election in the eyes of voters – gifting the Tories and other parties an easy line of propaganda, while angering leave voters in Labour heartlands and marginals who voted for Labour in 2017 on the basis of its manifesto promise to enact the 2016 referendum result in a Labour Brexit deal.

Trickett went further, writing an article in the Guardian in which he argues – as the SKWAWKBOX reported yesterday that other senior figures were saying – that any referendum that respects voters can only be on the basis of the credible deal Labour promised and not a bodged Johnson version.

Trickett has been joined by other Labour MPs in publicly resisting the full-remain push that has strengthened since the McDonnell-driven removal of key Corbyn aides.

Laura Smith, who resigned from the Shadow Cabinet in to respect what she felt were the views of most of her constituents, shared Trickett’s article on social media, making clear that the party must not abandon Labour’s millions of leave voters and the two-thirds of its parliamentary seats that voted leave – and that there is no satisfying hardcore remain MPs:

Smith also tweeted support for colleague Stephanie Peacock’s anger that remainers were dismissing her socialism because she backs the choice of her constituents:

One senior insider told the SKWAWKBOX:

Labour was strongest when it fought to do the best for the 99% regardless of their 2016 preference. It’s no surprise that the more we appeal to less than half of those who voted in the referendum, the lower we poll.


Labour’s die-hard remainers insisted Labour could only benefit from tacking to full remain. Instead, as the party has moved to anything other than implementing the referendum result, Labour’s polling has dropped steeply from the over 40% it regularly enjoyed.

Lavery, Trickett, Smith and their colleagues are absolutely right – Labour has compromised more than enough on its Brexit position and must not even hint at a referendum before the public has a chance to vote in a Labour government.

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  1. We have here two ‘respected’ members of the Labour Party who, if their advice is followed will, without a shadow of doubt, help us to lose the next GE.

    1. Here we an otherwise respected commenter,making ridiculous claims for which he has no evidence.

      1. John, I very rarely say anything without either evidence or facts, whether you believe them of not, to support my points. Alternatively, very rarely will you find Lexiters producing anything to back up their comments. Looking back at some of my comments should confirm it for you.

      2. ‘Here we an otherwise respected commenter,,,,’


        ‘…making ridiculous claims for which he has no evidence’

        Oh, you mean jack, dontcha?

    2. They both believe antisemitism within the party is overhyped, jack.

      Doesn’t that deserve your ‘respect’ (Note the inverted commas)?

  2. Not much point in having a shadow Brexit spokesperson whose abject stance suggests that he is neither willing nor able to negotiate a credible labour Brexit alternative. As Rob and Florence and others have so rightly pointed out, that role is central to carrying out the conference accord, to giving us something to work with on the doorstep and to giving the country a choice. Since we are in a phase of “restructuring” Jon Trickett might be better suited to the task.

    1. Very True Paulo and would happily see Tricket promoted at least he is supporting the decisions made at Conference , as we all should be

      1. PS and I mean that to apply equally to both Leavers and Remainers , we are all I hope Socialists …

  3. About time! Why have they been hiding until now? Conference decided policy and once again Remainers are trying to box in Corbyn to force a change. Corbyn needs to be told that we all back his policy as the only sensible and democratic solution. Frankly he should ditch SW&T as soon as he can, if not before.

  4. Well … John Trickett has always been a Brexiteer. Let’s not wrap it up … it’s nothing to do with unity.

    Ditto Lavery … who was one of the Labour rebels who went against the whip to hand the Tories a victory when defeat was possible.

    No clean hands here. Just two PLP members following their own predelictions. So lets have no more condemnation of those without the same predelictions advocating the opposite.

    1. The country voted to leave,the Labour party conference has accepted that decision so just what is the basis for your position?.What myself ,and others are most interested in is a Labour government,in or out of the EU.The Labour parties task now is to maximise the vote at an election,win it or at least come out as the largest party and negotiate a deal,.When we have done so,we can then say to the people,here is the best deal available,is this what you want.You have no mandate from anywhere,except your own arrogance(that is a collective you) to demand to remain.

      1. “The country voted to leave”

        Of course it didn’t – a mere 37% did. Stop exaggerating.

        The blindingly obvious lack of a Brexit case is encapsulated in the total abject fear that even that non-result won’t stand up to further examination. By definition, a FPTP advisory vote requires a more convincing outcome to support a binding change.

        The immunity to the blindingly obvious is the real ‘arrogance’ of denial.

        The basis for my ‘position’ is simple rationality and the desire of the wider Party for the same, protecting fellow citizens from yet another daft Tory idea that will further impoverish them (and enrich the 1%) – austerity Mk II – aka Brexit. As yet it’s not too late to recover the ground already lost.

      2. I see RH is re-writing history again by claiming only 37% of the UK Electorate in June 2016 elected to leave the EU, what he fails to comprehensively observe is this amounted to some 17.4 million votes cast, and of those votes cast this amounted to an actual majority of more than 1 million votes.

        We then have the nonsense that somehow the Russian’s influenced this vote, that those voting Exit had no idea what they were voting for, and that’s before we get to the actual turnout itself, which was under 71%, so, according to your average Remainic, those who failed to vote actually voted Remain, rather, than saying it as it really is, namely they had zero interest in the process and as such, whatever their views, they just don’t count – ain’t democracy grand, as democracy only works if all persons get involved, but, no, to our Remainiacs, their voice must count, despite the fact most who did not vote could not give a toss , for, if they did, they’d have voted.

        Now, all excuses aside, the UK elected to Leave the EU, all promoting the vote and selling for either camp clearly instructed that the outcome of the vote would be honoured, among them the PM of the day – allegedly though, these same folks were instructing us it was advisory – please supply evidence of this fact during the actual Referendum campaign process.

        What the Remainiacs also fail to understand is that their actions and attitudes actually radicalise persons like myself, who initially did not place membership of the EU as a primacy in his political calculations. However, having witnessed the UK’s own Pink Pussy Hat grouping, which itself mirrors the composition of that found in the USA, I’m now sick and tired of mainly white, middle class folk stating my Vote must not be honoured, as to put it bluntly, as far as they are concerned, I should not be allowed to vote in the first place. And that is tyranny I’m afraid to say and I detest white, middle class tyranny.

        Oh, and to cap it all, we have Posters on this Blog stating how opposed they are to majoritarian rule, preferring a tyranny of the minority instead, which is one reason our nation is mightily fucked.

      3. “re-writing history again by claiming only 37% of the UK Electorate in June 2016 elected to leave the EU,”

        We have now got to the point where Lexiteer supporters of Tory policy now deny reality totally! The statement is simply the truth.

        The point is important, because it shows how far the always stupid idea is from commanding the necessary degree of consent that a functioning democracy requires.

        “a tyranny of the minority”

        Exactly – that’s what Brexit entails without a re-vote.

        It’s why – as Attlee said in dismissing referendums – it’s a favourite tool of dictators.

        Why this fear of dynamic democracy? Answer on the back of a postage stamp.

      4. ‘Of course it didn’t – a mere 37% did. Stop exaggerating.’

        Bestial necrophiliac’s still flogging that dead horse.

        Get the message, dickhead – nobody’s buying that one.

      5. john thatcher 14/10/2019 at 7:21 pm ·


        But you may as well heed Matthew 13:5. And, as the saying goes: ‘You can’t educate pork’

        They’ve got their precious 70% and that’s the entire nation, to them.

    2. If you want to support remain so badly join the Liberal Democrats.

      1. Perhaps the question is ‘Why don’t *you* join the Brexit Party or the Tories where members have views much more consonant with your own?”

      2. Lib-dim plant, IA.

        There’s NO other excuse for it. Even rh’s seldom posts on other topics outside brexit are more in tune with lib dim policies.

        Note how when you mention he’s a lib dem his only answer (And the other two’s only answer) is to accuse you of being in agreement with rees-smog.

        Note how when you mention class he goes on an authoritarian rant.

        Note how he (And the other two) rarely post on anything outside of brexit, and even when he does he has to shoehorn brexit into it.

        Note how he (Like the other two) tries to have you believe 17m is smaller than 16m, then tells you you’re thick when you put him right?

        …What’s that – everybody already has?

      3. Much more ‘CONSONANT’??

        No – I wanted a vowel, rachel.

      4. Just noticed the thick Toffee’s latest excremental stream (not real Toffee).

        (That’s a polite way of saying he gabbles shit incontinently)

        Tory imposter or just thick but pretentious? It’s a toss(er) up.

      5. Yeah, but you can only call me names and have fuck all to back up your drivel with..

        Whereas I can – and DO – go into detail about how, why, and what your mindset is; all the things that make you the biggest gobshite on here.

        And believe me, that’s no mean feat – given your other two competitiors.

  5. Conference Rules!!

    The Labour Party is not a Remain party – some (maybe most) of its members might be, but THE PARTY is not.

    Despite passing C14 to NOT be a REMAIN PARTY, the Corbyn- and socialism-hating reformists in Labour want us to repeat the IndeRef mistake and take a side and let them takeover as a new NewLabour.

    GE – Renegotiate new WA – REFERENDUM – Implement.

    ONLY Labour’s policy makes sense – the more the MSM say it is confusing, the more we know it isn’t.

    1. What is the Party if it’s not its members? What do you think our policy would be if every member could vote rather than just delegates who had been mandated? Without doubt, the Party IS without doubt, a Remain Party.

      1. Yes, the Labour party is, of course, is its members. But on some issues – Brexit for sure – the party must transcend the issue and not take one of the apparently contradictory positions.

        As a Scottish socialist I see Scottish Labour’s dreadful performance as the result entirely of taking a position (any position) during the independence referendum. Maybe the majority of members were unionists, but simply taking the ‘better together’ position was so obviously very wrong to the electors that millions of them rejected Labour and transferred support to a party they had never before rated highly. (Sure Kazia Dugdale’s Scottish Labour was run by Blairites-on-steroids and the fleeing-Scots were rejecting soggy centralism too). a different party, the SNP (even though they are not nationalists) and today reject Richard Leonard’s wonderful Labour party.

        Corbyn’s strategy for Brexit, had it been followed by Milliband, Brown and Dugdale during the independence referendum, would have resulted in the SNP domination of Scottish Westminster seats not happening. Moreover, there would not be 13 Conservative MPs and only seven Labour MPs – despite Richard Leonard being a non-soggy centrist blairite.

        Corbyn knows this and that his strategy avoids the risk. His enemies know it too and thus beckon him to adopt a Remain position so they can replace his leadership of an unelectable party and re-badge themselves as the soggy centrist epresentatives of capital |(tory-light).

        I am an avowed remainer and I know this is true.

      2. Quertboi, I completely agree with you over Labour’s cock-up in Scotland regarding the independence referendum. However the Brexit situation is completely different. Yes, there are different views on Brexit as there are on almost EVERY issue but it should not stop the Leader taking up a principled position.

        There is a basic issue, which is will any form of Brexit benefit the UK? The answer from all the analysis is NO, this should be our starting point and the vast majority of members get it. Because a few Lexiters, without being able to substatiate their case, don’t or won’t get it, it shouldn’t mean that we have to sit on the fence to avoid hurting their feelings.

        Transcending the issue in this case, to pacify a few dinosaurs will certainly lose us the next GE.

      3. That ( remain) may or may not be the case Jack and I understand your fear driving your commitment to Remain at all costs ( and I would be saying the exact same thing to those that want the opposite ) , but as I and other commentators here keep trying to get over to you , not all Labour voters are Remain and some never will be , and conversely not all are Leave thus as qwertboi has pointed out adopting a concrete and to you a very sharply defined position on Brexit severely restricts the opportunities for us to win a GE and THAT is my fear that drives me to support Corbyn and Conferences decision on Brexit .
        Its a good decision.It may not be to your liking and maybe it might be an easy sell for you in your constituency to have had a Remain only Party , but for others then that stance would be a certain defeat in their constituency .
        IMO Corbyns stance is perfect for all of us to canvas on .

      4. Rob, you don’t appear to be listening. Will Brexit of any description be beneficial to the UK?

      5. Jack I am very much listening , to what Corbyn has said and it makes perfect sense , no , any form of Brexit IMO is not good for the UK but then again staying on in the UE under its present Neo-liberal rules isn’t good either , so do not think that staying in the EU will result in all being sweetness and light .

        , HOWEVER and this is where you could listen perhaps , neither would be making our Party into either a full on Remain or Leave . That way as I have pointed out imo lays defeat and like you I want to see a full on Socialist Govt under Corbyn , do you ?

      6. Rob, I absolutely do want to see a Corbyn Socialist government which is why I don’t want some half cocked policy to destroy the prospect.

        Every time we get a contentious issue either now or in government we can’t simply say we will have half of this and half of that. Those who want Brexit have absolutely no case for saying it will make the UK more prosperous, therefore why on earth should we let them damage the lives of the less well off by adopting any form of this hair brained Tory right wing scam and thereby damage our chances of forming a government.

        We have to stand up for what is right not what is expedient to silence the disruptive deluded Lexiters. It is a view which the overwhelming majority of members support.

        Don’t forget that by being here on this blog you are mixing with some of the most vociferous and intransigent Lexiters and possibly some Tories and Brexit Party supporters. If you are a genuine Labour/Corbyn supporter, don’t let your natural inclination for fair play deter you from giving the Lexiters short shrift. They are so fanatical they will turn on Corbyn in an instant if he came out for Remain.

      7. It strikes me that this log-jam has got some way past the point where the question needed to be put to a poll of all members rather than continue to be batted around inconclusively. I find it difficult to see any other way to possibly stop – or reverse – the hemorrhage of support.

        Going into an election in this state and with Brexit unresolved will be fatal, leaving the initiative with the Tories.

      8. rob –

        “any form of Brexit IMO is not good for the UK but then again staying on in the UE under its present Neo-liberal rules isn’t good either”

        Where I would differ is in the balance between the two options.

        As often said, the position of those of us who are unrepentantly on the ‘Remain’ side is not that the EU offers some woolly nirvana that solves all problems. Nor do we fail to recognise that the economic policies are clearly based on neoliberal ideas.

        It is a much more pragmatic choice : that after three years examination, it is clear that Brexit offers no practical and credible improvement – quite the reverse, with the current level of economic decline only the bare start of difficulties to come.

    2. Yeah but by the same point we’re not a Brexit supporting party like the BNP,UKIP,BP and the Tories either.

      In fact the only labour mp’s voting for Brexit are the loons and fruit loops that have saved the government on a number occasions.

      I will say again if by some god forsaken chance we do hard Brexit within a couple of weeks finding a brexiteer will be like trying to find a Nazi in 1946 Germany.

    3. “The Labour Party is not a Remain party – some (maybe most) of its members might be, but THE PARTY is not.”

      … Precisely…which explains its flagging support. Inconsistency, incompetence and lack of coherence are symptomatic and deadly, and have now resulted in the latest round of washing dirty linen. To be frank – the real enemies couldn’t have wished for better.

      As predicted.

  6. Time for a clear out,
    Referendum vote on Saturday, withdraw whip from any PLP member supporting it,
    Let’s call it the Sanity Clause

    1. Spot on Doug its not about brexit its about sticking to a plan and seeing it through and not allowing mob rule to overturn the conference and destroy the credibility of our leader and our party solidarity comrades

      1. Joseph, to refer to the Labour membership as a mob is rather strange?

      2. Jack T ..discriptive actions Mob rule,apologies if you take it litteraly but temperatures are rising all round because of careless talk and I never deliberately wish to join in..mob rule…or insult different veiws..but I do recognise that its wrong.

    2. I’m afraid, Doug, that your comments show how massively out of touch you are with the Party membership and it’s support.

      I’d prefer Labour to maintain and build its membership rather than sell it out to the LDs and Greens.

      1. RH JackT
        Are we talking about the membership and supporters who are four square behind JC and conference policy

      2. Doug, I can’t speak for anyone else but I am talking about the large majority of members who support Remain and recognise that Leavers are living in some right wing pie-in-the-sky Farage world. Who by his smoke and mirrors tactics of blaming the EU, is trying to deflect attention away from the true villians, i.e. the Tories. Remember, Farage left the Tories because they weren’t right wing enough for him!

    1. OK DOug I give in just what is this “J ” think you keep using , forgive my thickness for asking 😉

      1. Ahha and here I was thinking it was super cool hipster message thingy ;-))

    2. Rob, the way I see it is if we go into an election saying we are going to negotiate some sort of Leave deal, will that help or hinder our chances? I believe it will be detrimental to us, especially if we go on to say if we get a deal we will support it, how could we not?… It’s naive and cowardly to say we would not support our own deal! and the opposition would exploit it for all it was worth.

      The upshot is Labour will become a Leave Party, no place for Remainers, a guaranteed vote loser.

  7. You’ve woke me up with all that racket ! Just before dawn and I could hear you lot!arguing again on brexshit…oops computer again..We all agreed policy at conference,or what?….collective responsibility,.or knock the whole house down and become a mob.and destroy democracy.You’ve got another vote you won,but who’s to say what is the best one……..lets do the irish option best out of three till you get it right The sun 🌞 is rising again but the clouds are moving and I thought the rainy season was over ,but at least the rice crop will be safe for another season of growing. ..regards comrades from a country where an insane dictator murdered half the population and the USA illegally bombed the whole country into the stone age?

      1. Paulo,yes 👍 but I dozed off…. missed most of the debate!

      1. Exactly. Better the devil you know.

        Also, various national and international decisions (including recent events in Syria and Washington (impeachment?!?! If he is rubbish, then they can beat him at the ballot box surely?)) show Trump is playing a strange game, and is not the monster the lying MSM want us to believe he is.

      2. Never voting labour again 15/10/2019 at 1:59 pm

        WTF – What next, Boris isn’t all bad at least he crashed us out of the EU without a deal.

      3. @SteveH

        I do not endorse either Trump, or Johnson. Neither offer anything to interest me.

        Like it or not, Trump is pulling out troops from key locations. There is some Kayfabe between the various leaders to achieve this. And its something he promised to do if elected (note Sen. Graham making noises to keep troops there (and how he has changed his tune with the Kurds)).

        As for Trump’s crimes, I would say they are in his days prior to being president. 4 times bankrupt… very likely to be charged under RICO.

        Will a presidential pardon (Nixon) appear?

  8. People differ about tactics and you inflate this into a full blown war, in your imagination. Do you want to win the next election? Or do want to sit there playing with yourself? Both points of view are perfectly reasonable and legitimate.

  9. In the midst of all these Lexiters demanding a dogmatic approach it is worth noting that Jeremy Corbyn has adopted a much more pragmatic approach and has wisely left the door wide open for a change of policy if the ever shifting circumstances necessitate it.

    1. Yes 👍 a reality check for john McDonnell that divission can be caused by careless off the cuff remarks to a dodgy ex Labour spin doctor..A sense of unity has been shown and more of that is needed to deal with a concerted effort by the enemy within the PLP and governance..I think some of us including me have underestimated the infiltrators strength in the party..

  10. Sometimes…good can come from adversety and genuine anger shown by all sides in the brexit debate.Anger is not the choice of paid trolls or some of the other terms that misrepresent our.motives for pushing our opinions on these pages.I hope that more passionate beliefs are shared and anger,but we are united on ridding the country of 5 more years.of misery under a Tory regime

  11. Jack , I am responding here as the thread up top is a bit long and complicated.

    At least we agree on the desired out come and that’s a positive , I also think that where there is a minor difference is how we get there , but I’ll live with that for sure.
    Yes I understand re the strength of beliefs of commentators here on both sides of the Brexit debate ( and I think I can spot a Tory antagonist ) nonetheless both views are valid in the minds of those commenting .
    The crux is the methodology of how we persuade folks to vote in their best interest and that for many is Labour . I am confident that with the approach of C14 motion decided at Conference that gives us the best chance to do that .
    Does this make me a Lexiter or conversely a Remainer , well no I don’t believe so , what it makes me is someone who, like you , wants to ensure a JC Govt comes to power .Thus if I have to accept a Lexit negotiated by Corbyn ( whom I know will do the best for me ) then so be it or if it means we Remain in the EU , then again so be it ( I believe Corbyn will do his dam best to push it more towards a Socialist enterprise ) .What I will fight tooth and nail against is any form of Tory Brexit full stop …
    AS I have said in my earlier comments there are those in the Party who are using Brexit as a cover to “get Corbyn” that should be fairly obvious I hope , and for those weasel MPs like Shnell , Smeeth , De Piero +18 others who have signed the “letter” confirming they intend to vote with the Tories for their Tory Brexit deal , I say remove the whip …
    But in either case so long as Corbyn gets in then that will be a million times better than what we have now as a Tory Govt … this you know I am sure .
    This may be impossible to achieve if Labour adopts a hard stance in either direction Leave or Remain but giving the voters the choice to vote on it leaves the door open to conversation and opportunity.

    Right now though , I feel that we all should be untied and focusing on supporting Corbyn and rooting out and pressuring those MPs who like those I have mentioned above support the Tories. I have, for what it’s worth already, emailed those with ” my requests and thoughts on their actions ” , the more that do the better perhaps.

    1. Rob, thanks for your detailed reply, I think one of your key statements is that we have to convince voters to vote in their best interests. One of the ways we can’t do that is by pretending that there is validity on both sides of the argument, if we do, the undecided still won’t know which way to jump.

      I agree that the protaganists on both sides think they are right but by any metric the Leavers case falls flat. As Cummings said, they ‘won’ their case not by relying upon facts, but by playing upon the emotions of the electorate.

      The Leave case is bogus, no matter how many Labour MPs fell for it. Now they are not even bothering to examine the facts, they are just coming out with the mantra ‘we have to respect the referendum result’. What they should be doing is making it clear to people that Leave was sold to them under false pretenses and they have every right to change their mind if they so wish in another referendum/election.

      There is a debate as to whether to have an election or a referendum first. We could settle it by putting in our manifesto that we are a Remain Party and by voting for us, the issue of whether or not to have a referendum will disappear. What we cannot do is tell the electorate, including our members who overwhelmingly support Remain, that we are going to have an election, negotiate a Leave deal and then have a referendum! it’s plain crazy, – a sure way to lose.


  12. I wonder how much people’s opinions are affected by where they are and who they mix with?

    I’m in Sheffield, whose populace voted leave by about 51%. Most (not all) Labour members I know voted and campaigned to remain, as I did. Yet there is no appetite to change the result among our members. Why? Because it just doesn’t seem fair, and because we see and hear from our fellow Sheffielders the contempt and betrayal they feel at the referendum not being enacted.

    I can live with the current Labour proposal of a 2nd ref on remain/labourdeal – given the time elapsed since 2016 I think a 2nd ref is justified. But if Labour suddenly back remain, my own feeling is that we become what we are so often accused of. i.e. the party of middle-class jumper wearing vegetarians, rather than the party of the unrepresented working class majority.

    (I am a jumper wearing vege, and mean no disrespect, but you know what I mean).

    Anyway, please don’t jump on me for saying that, it is just what I see around me.

    1. Bay, I am a jumper wearing carnivore, but the viewpoint that you express is quite close to my own.

      Meanwhile, referendum now supporters, those who don’t respect the conference decision, might want to consider the growing evidence that the threat of a referendum is persuading Tory doubtfuls to back a Boris deal, no matter what (I assume this pertains to Super Saturday).

      This A.M. Barnier is reported to have said that agreement on a deal this week isn’t out of the question. Perhaps the Cummings/ Johnson “we are leaving” tactic may yet have worked in their favour by delaying the call for an election until it is too late – that is if one’s preference is either for remain, or a Labour, Brexit alternative.

    2. Bay Whitaker, some excellent grass roots points in your comment. Now that more people are aware of the dire consequences of leaving, do you think if we made the Remain argument much stronger than we did before, because let’s face it, Alan Johnson’s performance was pathetic, we could convince at least 2% to change their mind?

    3. “I wonder how much people’s opinions are affected by where they are and who they mix with?”

      A balanced post and question. The answer to the question is ‘a lot’ – so, you’re right, just chatting down the pub isn’t enough, and other evidence is needed.

      Apart from matters of wider principle, though, my concerns arise from the number, particularly (but not exclusively) of younger people who were initially enthused by Corbyn, but now look at the Party with contempt, and who have moved away from it.

      The Party is self-evidently stuck in a hole. No good trying to unpick the history that added to the headwind of antagonism – you can’t reverse time. But you can have another referendum, which is, as I see it, the only way to seize the initiative and find a way out of the hole.

      Forget all the fake stuff that Brexiteers put out about ‘respecting the vote’ and the pretence of being anti-elite and caring about the left behind. This is a project of and for the plutocratic elite, pure and simple. Always was, and the long term prospects of of turning things around are lessened by it, and guilt-tripping isn’t going to change that fact

      1. Taking your ‘young people’ point on, Brexit would struggle to make it into their top three, behind climate change, student debt and property prices
        Then balance that against what is on offer from Tories, SFA

      2. Doug – It isn’t quite like that. With, again, the caveat that this isn’t about a scientific sample, I think issues tend to be linked. I’m also using a fairly wide definition of ‘younger people’ – i.e not the old farts of around my age who were the most Brexit-prone of voters.

        What is observable is what is reflected in more statistically valid studies : people of later generations see ‘Europe’ much more as part of their identity, and linked to certain other key issues like concern about climate change. It would be a mistake to not recognize the saliency of the Brexit question to their voting.

      3. Just a quick PS : A more practical way of looking at the question is that, given that these issues are not entirely separated, the position of Labour on Brexit may be crucial for some younger people in choosing between it and the Greens.

  13. RH. Agreed, if we can’t have a ‘Labour for Remain’ election first, then the only sensible option is another referendum – with the caveat that Labour has to be unequivocal and support Remain, no wishy washy fence sitting.

  14. Jack and RH maybe I am not grasping the Labour proposal of C14 motion and that is a negotiated deal put to a vote along with a Remain option on the ballot. Now I can’t for the life of me see how that, isn’t in essence , a Referendum.
    It gives everyone the choice to say Yes Leave or No stay , I can’t see the difference , only the timing being post GE which IMO is a must have as it forces voters to make a clear decision , do I want to have that choice , vote Labour ( plus all the other wonderful benefits ) , or nope I am happy to dive off a cliff edge , vote Tory 5 more yrs of austerity and no NHS . ( libdems don’t even come into it imo )

    Referendum PV vote to 1: Remain 2: Leave on terms negotiated by Johnson ?
    Labour C14 motion 1: Remain 2: Leave on the terms negotiated by JC

    I see the only difference is who gets to negotiate the terms of the deal
    and that is why we must have the GE first as Labour is not in power and is negotiating nothing. Johnson is , and thus if you have a referendum prior to a GE the deal will be on Johnson’s not Labour terms .
    This gives a narrow and restrictive choice to the electorate , those who may wish still to leave but not on Johnson terms will be forced to either choose Remain or choose Johnson’s deal.

    That is why having a GE first will allow for those who wish to leave on a Tory deal to vote accordingly and vote Tory , should they win , then so be it , the de facto Referendum has taken place and the country has voted to leave all be it imo with a catastrophic deal .

    Should Labour win then the country can still vote to leave or remain the difference is that the leave option will not be as destructive as a Tory one , AND the country as a whole has had the chance to vote for in effect 3 versions of what they wanted , and all along the line there has been at every stage a choice to vote remain .
    This imo is not wishy washy or fence sitting I see it as very flexible and a opportunity to persuade as many as possible to vote Labour.

    For example , just this morning I had a conversation with a fellow gym user ( a avid Leaver ) at my local gym , whilst sweating away the inevitable topic came up of Brexit ( he mentioned it not me ) , and I was able to at least talk to him of the positives of Labour negotiating a deal rather than a Tory one . If Labour had committed to remain only there would have been nothing to say , no conversation no opportunity

    I am not being antagonistic here , just trying to grasp why you think restricting the opportunities for Labour to win by forcing it into a single position is viable .

    1. “Jack and RH maybe I am not grasping the Labour proposal of C14 motion and that is a negotiated deal put to a vote along with a Remain option on the ballot.”

      Not at all, Rob. Jack will speak for himself, but it’s just that my thinking has somewhat changed – thus the changed preference.

      In essence, the problem of going into an election with Brexit contaminating the important domestic agenda has loomed larger as a problem for me. I agree that, if a GE comes first, Labour has adopted a sane position. But :-

      We are currently too dependent on the failure of the Tories, with Labour credibility at a very low point – the odd ray of light has been due to the Tories doing even worse. Thus my sense that, in this vulnerable position, the leakage to the LDs and Greens is critical. If support was above 40% of voting intentions, it might not be so.

      Any political analyst will say that they have never known the pattern of electoral support as febrile as this – but Labour can’t simply hope for a swing in our direction at a critical moment.

      Clarifying the Brexit question *before* a GE – beyond the actual outcome – gets rid of an important bias and allows focus on the domestic agenda. Labour will never unite around a Brexit agenda, whereas the Tories can – but members might shrug their shoulders after the result of a more informed referendum with a more representative electoral base (i.e allowing those over 16 to vote on what is their future – I’d happily give up my vote as an old fart as a fair exchange).

      There are undoubtedly risks on all sides, and the country should never allowed the Tories to get us into this position. But we are where we are, and I think this is the best way out, with a referendum *after* a GE as the next best.

  15. I fear that events my well overtake us , with a shit deal looking likely to be put before Parliament imminently and our traitorous RW Blairite MPs voting with the Tories to push it through

  16. With the best will in the world, RH, Rob’s comment above makes perfect and lucid sense to me (and like him I am finding that C14 is enabling me to canvass middle class remainers with some success); your response does less than that. Please don’t tell me to read it again! I’ve already done that, several times and perhaps you will allow me some credit for that.

    “I agree that, if a GE comes first, Labour has adopted a sane position.”

    Good; I’m fine with that.

    “If support was above 40% of voting intentions, it might not be so.”

    Too elliptical for me; I don’t actually know what you are saying.

    “Clarifying the Brexit question *before* a GE – beyond the actual outcome – gets rid of an important bias and allows focus on the domestic agenda.”

    Yes, I’m familiar with this spin, but what on earth do you mean by “clarifying” and how does Labour potentially being defeated over Brexit before an upcoming election improve our chances? Are you telling me that a potential win for Boris is going to weaken his profile with the electorate? This is before we even discuss how the threat of opposition parties pressing for a referendum is actually firming up conservative support for a Boris Brexit (see my previous post).

    As to the realpolitik of a referendum first, I gave it some thought on an earlier thread, got into a mental log jam and Florence helped me out. I’m really struggling to envisage a non c14 scenario that doesn’t give me waking nightmares. The idea of Boris in power for God knows how many more months, or else an establishment govt. of national unity, in order to effect a referendum – no thanks – up to you if you wish to elaborate on the actualities of how such a referendum may come about.

    “Labour will never unite around a Brexit agenda,”

    A tad more convincing, I think. However, should we win an election, then perhaps there can be a free vote. If the country is 52/48 why should it be so bad that some in the LP want remain and some want leave? The whole point is that we would be doing what Johnson has pretended to do and isn’t doing – taking it back to the people – “the many and not the few”.

    ” but Labour can’t simply hope for a swing in our direction at a critical moment ”

    Sorry but I don’t see how this contributes to the development of your argument. All I can say is yes, exactly, so we have to get on with it, united and with the spirit of conviction.

  17. I think there is a case for plain English after all ;-))
    But thank you both RH and Paulo for the contributions , some really good points for thought , quite coincidentally at our branch mtg tonight we had similar discussions and thoughts on the potential /way forward but the majority were of the opinion that the C14 motion and the Party Stance on Brexit was a good one to canvas on .
    I just hope we get chance to try it out ?

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