On one side you have Tom Watson making a speech in order to embarrass Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into changing party policy to support for remaining in the European Union.
On another, The Times comes out with a “scoop” saying Mr Corbyn has caved and is changing Labour policy to “referendum and remain”.
Who do you believe?
You believe Jeremy Corbyn – who has released an announcement that clearly contradicts the newspaper’s claim and rejects Mr Watson’s exhortation.
Yesterday (June 19) the Labour leader released a statement making his party’s new position abundantly clear – but you know it will still suffer the wilful reinterpretation of the Tory press. It says:
“We have committed to respecting the result of the referendum, and have strongly made the case for an alternative plan for Brexit as the only serious deal that could potentially command the support of the House.
“At conference last year we passed our policy, the members’ policy. Over the past nine months, I have stuck faithfully to it.
“A no-deal Brexit would plunge us into the worst excesses of disaster capitalism and trash our economy on the back of fantasy Tory trade deals or worse, very real and very damaging trade deals with Donald Trump, opening up our NHS to American companies.
“I have already made the case, on the media and in Dublin, that it is now right to demand that any deal is put to a public vote. That is in line with our conference policy which agreed a public vote would be an option.
“A ballot paper would need to contain real choices for both leave and remain voters. This will of course depend on parliament.
“I want to hear your views, I will be hearing trade union views next week, and then I want to set out our views to the public.”
His statement is supported by the briefing paper that went to shadow cabinet members.
It said switching to support for Remain would endanger the party’s representation in Parliament – not improve it: “There is an evident risk that shifting to a more explicitly pro-Remain position would leave us vulnerable in seats we need to hold or win without enough potential seat gains in winnable Remain majority areas.”
So there you have it.
The recent elections have made a difference. Labour’s policy is now that any Brexit deal must be put to the public vote – and that such a vote must contain choices that allow Leave and Remain supporters to make their views clear.
This Writer would suggest that this would demand a vote by proportional representative, with voters asked to place their preferences in numerical order (with no number for proposals that they absolutely reject).
What do you think?
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