This Writer does not find it “interesting” or curious that the Labour conference has backed Owen Smith’s preference for a referendum on any future Brexit deal.
It indicates that Labour First secretary Luke Akehurst has been successful in stuffing the conference with his cronies who have succeeded in winning delegate roles at their local CLPs.
Some people on the social media were wondering why such a fuss was being made about a former NEC member they believed was a spent force, a few days ago. This is the reason.
The Brexit vote isn’t that much of an issue. I can certainly live with it. But it bodes ill for today’s (Tuesday) vote on so-called “democratic” rule changes for the Labour Party.
And where are Mr Corbyn’s supporters? “Purged” from the party, or suspended, or barred from attending at the door.
The right-whingers seem to have well and truly stitched up this conference.
It is a wake-up call for the rest of us – those who support Labour values.
We need to be much better-organised, and we need that to happen about six months ago.
Otherwise these fake-Labour manipulators will get away with murder.
There were not many policy issues that divided Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith during the leadership contest but one was Europe. Corbyn said the party should accept the Brexit vote, and focus on getting the best possible deal. Smith said that any final deal should be put to the public, in a second referendum or a general election, and that he would like the UK to stay in the EU.
Interestingly, the Labour party conference has backed the Owen Smith position. There has not been a formal debate on Brexit at the conference, but yesterday’s economy debate included various composite motions on employment rights, including one proposed by the TSSA union. It was passed unanimously, and no one paid much attention to the detail, but it included a line saying the UK should retain the option of staying in the EU.
Here is the key passage.
[Conference] recognises that many of those who voted to leave the EU were expressing dissatisfaction with EU or national policy and were voting for change, but believes that unless the final settlement proves to be acceptable then the option of retaining EU membership should be retained. The final settlement should therefore be subject to approval, through parliament and potentially through a general election, or a referendum.
In practice, the significance of this is limited. According to party officials, the fact that the composite was passed does not mean that demanding a possible second referendum is now official party policy. Instead the motion will feed into the national policy forum policy-making process. And in practice Corbyn’s election victory means he has a mandate for his ‘it’s settled’ position.
But the fact that conference has passed this motion will embolden those Labour MPs, like Smith, who are demanding a second referendum. And if the Commons ever ends up voting on amendments to Brexit legislation demanding a second referendum, as seems inevitable, Labour MPs will be able to use composite 1 as justification for backing those amendments.
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