A leaked Government strategy paper shows it has been seeking Jeremy Corbyn’s support for a plan to rule out pre-emptively the solution backed by the overwhelming majority of Labour voters of giving the public the final say.
The plan, revealed in leaks to the Evening Standard and ITV, is thought to have been discussed in talks with senior members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet. Although Jeremy Corbyn is thought to be planning to pull the plug on these talks today there are still reports circulating in Westminster that Labour and the Government could yet cooperate on future ‘voting arrangements’ when the Prime Minister brings her Brexit deal back to the Commons for the fourth time.
The leaked plan shows the Government has already drawn up an elaborate scheme to give MPs a series of votes on various forms of a customs union deal. The document claims the Government has agreed a minimal package of concessions designed to appease Labour. In return, the Government wanted Labour to agree a free vote on ruling out a People’s Vote and confirm that the UK will leave the EU on July 31.
Commenting, Alex Sobel, Labour MP for Leeds North West, and a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign said:
“This is the battle plan for a desperate Prime Minister to freeze the people out of the biggest decision facing the country in two generations.
“Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this proposed stitch-up is that it has been drawn up with the idea that Labour could be persuaded to sign up to it.
“If this cynical plan shows anything, it is that Theresa May hopes her legacy will be to stop the public from having the final say on a deal that neither Parliament or the country wants. It seems she is perfectly happy to trade any promise she has ever made on Brexit just so long as she can keep the ultimate decision in the hands of politicians.
“For Labour the choice is now as much moral as it is political.
“It can choose to endorse a Conservative plan that cuts people out of the decision by propping up an ailing Government’s decrepit strategy that will dismay both sides of the Brexit debate. It can choose to defy the overwhelming majority of its members, voters and MPs. It can choose endorsement of a broken Brexit deal that breaks most of the promises made for Brexit and in which any concessions will doubtless be ripped up by the hardliner chosen by the Tory members to replace the Prime Minister.
“Or Labour can now take a stand and make it clear there is no prospect of Labour ever agreeing to any Brexit deal that is not handed back to the people for the final say.”