Labour needs a stronger statement on Brexit to beat this Tory/Lib Dem alliance

Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘I’ve made it very clear the Labour party accepts and respects the decision of the British people. We will not block article 50.’ [Image: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.]

Considering This Writer’s comments earlier today, it is possible that Mr Corbyn may be making a mistake.

Labour’s plan is to amend any Tory legislation, to ensure that Parliament can scrutinise whatever deal the government puts forward.

But it seems likely that Theresa May will not put forward legislation in the normal way, but will instead demand that the Commons and the Lords vote on an ultimatum – her deal or no deal, just World Trade Organisation rules.

Compounding the problem is the fact that the Conservatives are working in tandem with their former Liberal Democrat allies, to accuse Labour, whatever the party does.

After it was reported that Labour MPs might rebel over triggering Article 50, Tories accused the party of failing to respect the referendum verdict.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have been merrily claiming that Labour is happy to do whatever the Tories say.

Logic dictates that both claims can’t be true, but the British electorate hasn’t been logical since before 2010, so both may be extremely damaging to Labour.

It seems clear that a much stronger statement of intent is required – one that will rubbish both the Tory and Liberal Democrats’ claims – and soon.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will impose a three-line whip on his Labour MPs to back the triggering of article 50 if the government loses the supreme court challenge and brings a Brexit bill to parliament.

Asked how he would handle any legislation in the Commons, after the Guardian revealed that some shadow cabinet ministers were considering voting against, the Labour leader told Sky News: “It is very clear. The referendum made a decision that Britain was to leave the European Union. It was not to destroy jobs or living standards or communities but it was to leave the European Union and to have a different relationship in the future.

“I’ve made it very clear the Labour party accepts and respects the decision of the British people. We will not block article 50.”

When asked if that meant a three-line whip [an order to MPs to vote for the bill], he replied: “It means that Labour MPs will be asked to vote in that direction next week, or whenever the vote comes up.”

Source: Corbyn to impose three-line whip on Labour MPs to trigger article 50 | Politics | The Guardian

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12 thoughts on “Labour needs a stronger statement on Brexit to beat this Tory/Lib Dem alliance

  1. Harvey Lloyd

    He needs to change his mind. Surely he realizes that he is supporting the right wing of the Conservative party by taking this stance? I trust that like all politicians he can change his mind and come out of it smelling of roses. Harvey lloyd

  2. NMac

    The British people were sold a “pup” by thoroughly corrupt and dishonest politicians who perpetrated one of the biggest confidence tricks ever on a whole nation (bigger even than the Tory election expenses fraud. Whatever happened to that?). Someone ought to have the guts to stand up and say it and annul the whole nation-wrecking farce. Personally, I would like to see Jeremy Corbyn opposing the Tories, not going along with their nonsense.

    1. Barry Davies

      Indeed we were sold a pup in 1973 and the same project fear propaganda that kept us in the common market in 1975 was attempted by the lied and deceptions of the right wing tory party it seems that you can fool some people some of the time, all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, unfortunately some want us to continue with the nonsensical membership of the eu. Good for Corbyn having the guts to stand up and say we should accept a democratic vote and not try to block it like his right wing mp’s want to do.

  3. Neilth

    A three line whip to support the Tory plan to destroy workers rights, our human rights (ECHR), freedom to travel the climate, business, trade and our economy. As I said on another thread we should be offering clear, decisive and easily explained alternatives that would protect those freedoms etc not whiting behind a destructive, divisive calamity.

  4. mohandeer

    Hope Corbyn realizes sooner rather than later he is being tricked and they are trying to box him in.
    The LibDems, yet again, are working AGAINST the best interests of the British people and are busy sucking up to the Tories. The reason for this is obvious. Tim Farron knows the Tories will not get a majority vote in 2020 and he is setting his party up as the partner in crime in another coalition(so they can stab the British people in the back yet again) because it is the only way LibDems will ever see power this century. They really are that loathsome.

  5. Peter Hepworth

    Surely a take-it-or-leave it motion from May would contravene the spirit of a Supreme Court ruling that Parliament must make the decision to invoke Article 50, since such a motion would offer no grounds for debate and amendment.

  6. casalealex

    In 2002, a secret Liberal Democrat document came to light – produced by the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors – in which local activists were urged to “be wicked, act shamelessly, stir endlessly” in order to win elections.

    In fact, ask anyone who’s been involved in local politics and they’ll tell you Liberal Democrat activists are the most infamous for playing dirty, using underhand methods and being utterly ruthless.

    Exactly as they turned out to be nationally in their coalition with the Tories.

    Can a leopard change it’s spots?

  7. Signor tbf


    Afraid he has no choice. There is no legal reason to challenge the holding of the referendum, nor evidence of proper fraud in its’ conduct ie ballot-box stuffing, so like it or not, and I don’t, we are heading out of the EU by a legal and majority verdict.

    Anybody trying to stall the initiation of that process is dead meat, simple as. However, as you’ve said elsewhere, May’s stance is so absurd, it’s her who is going to be left holding that red fizzing stick labelled dynamite and who will shoulder the blame when it goes pear-shaped (and it will). And people won’t be blaming that pear-shapedness on anyone else but the Government who led us out, regardless of if they went & voted out themselves!

    Just like Cameron & his laughable concessions negotiations before it. And, watch out for George Osborne’s leadership challenge two years hence-you read it here first.

    As the story comes from The Graundiad, which is as poisonous as the Mirror these days in supporting the New Labour position without question over Mr Corbyn, and several MP’s are on Facebook saying they will vote to reflect their constituents’ wishes (just as they did, of course, on the Syria vote), I think we can guess who dictated this story to The Graundiad.

    Or someone close to him!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m concerned that people like Mrs May and Mr Farron will, when Brexit turns sour, turn on Mr Corbyn and say: “He let it happen!”
      Regarding the Graun story – it has now been discredited so your interpretation may well be correct. That doesn’t invalidate my concerns, though.

  8. Signor tbf


    I get your concerns, but Farron & his crew will not be trusted by anybody after the coalition. They are now only good for being flavour of the day at certain by-elections.

    And Mrs May can say what she likes, but if her government was the one that put up the bill to invoke Article 50, then she, rather like Gordon Brown in the recession, is going to be hard-pushed to blame someone else for events-oh, she might well try it, but it isn’t likely to wash, because it will happen on her watch.

    Other points re the PM:- for an alleged Remainer, she seems to’ve engaged with Brexit with no little enthusiasm. I think that scores well at the moment with the 52%, hence the opinion poll leads, but, at a general election, people will tend towards remembering what’s happened in the last three months at most-that’s human nature.

    So, unless she gets it sorted out in the 2 years, she’s already down to one alternative date to May 2020 for a GE ie April/May 2019. And if it goes over that, as it’s likely to do, it is then considerably more likely to drag on until around 2023/5.

    Equally, because she’s nailed her colours to the Brexit mast to win the next GE, she will very possibly fall over on many domestic issues, because that is her main focus. It happened to Tony Blair after Iraq & hence part of the reason why Michael Howard cut our majority by more than 50%. Her efforts with the NHS show this already.


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