Thursday 10 May 2018 - People's Vote

Thursday 10 May 2018

Morning briefing: Labour pressure for People's Vote - Cabinet can-kicking - Iran fallout

Pressure is mounting within the Labour party for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal. It’s time for Jeremy Corbyn to recognise that backing a people’s vote is not an attack on the 2016 referendum, it’s about empowering people to choose the right future for them once they know what Brexit really means.

Five MPs from the North East of England, a heavily Leave-voting region but also one set to be hit particularly hard by Brexit, have joined the campaign. Writing for the Independent, they lay out the risks Brexit poses to the North East economy - where major employers like Nissan in Sunderland, Hitachi in County Durham and the Teeside chemicals industry could all shed jobs as trade with Europe becomes harder. The impact on families and hit to public services is also raised.

There are movements for a people’s vote across the Labour party. Corbyn sacked shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith over the issue back in March. And this week sees two Labour MPs calling for a people’s vote in Parliament: Gareth Thomas giving an impassioned speech yesterday and a private members bill from Geraint Davies will appear in the Commons tomorrow.

Is his ostensibly pro-Brexit position damaging the party’s position in the country? Last week’s local elections certainly didn’t show overwhelming support for Labour across the country. The party’s support fell in almost half the 50 most marginal constituencies where all councillors were up for election last week, according to analysis by a party insider reported in the Times.

It’s time Corbyn realised he can stand up for working class people, and against inequality, by backing a people’s vote on May’s destructive Brexit deal. He needs to take this bolder stance.

Video of the day

Labour MP Gareth Thomas makes a cracking case for a People's Vote in the Commons. Why should he be the only person in Harrow to have a vote on the final Brexit deal?


Theresa May: can-kicker in chief

She’s done it again. Our champion can-kicker Theresa May has delayed yet another difficult Brexit decision, according to reports in the Telegraph. The Brexit “war cabinet” expected to meet today has been postponed until after regular Cabinet meets on Tuesday. Doesn’t the prime minister know this Brexit process has a two-year time limit?

Apparently the delay is an attempt by May to win over Gavin Williamson to her proposal for a post-Brexit customs deal with the EU. The defence secretary is reportedly being pulled in both directions by rival Cabinet factions. With the clock ticking and no solution on the horizon, this looks like yet another example of the government putting petty politics above the interests of the country.

Quote of the day

“God help us all!”

- One high-ranking UK official’s take on the effect the government’s customs turmoil is having on the Brexit process (via Politico)

Higher food prices warning

The Lords’ EU environment committee has warned of big hikes in food prices if the UK doesn’t secure a free trade deal with the EU and has to start paying tariffs averaging 22% on food imports. Meanwhile, the Commons’ international trade committee has warned that Liam Fox’s new Trade Remedies Authority won’t be ready in time for Brexit. That means UK companies could be left exposed to unfair trade practices from foreign competitors.

With new facts like these emerging, the people should get a vote once we know the final Brexit deal.

Video of the day 2

Here's what happened in Leeds when OFOC (and a room full of students) met Hilary Benn, Labour MP and chair of the Commons Brexit committee.


Iran fallout continues

Is this really a good time to burn bridges with Europe and suck up to Donald Trump? The US is so keen to destroy the Iran nuclear pact that it's threatening sanctions on European companies, including British ones, that trade with Iran.

London, Brussels and other European capitals are united in trying to control the damage caused by Trump’s pyromaniac foreign policy, which is analysed by InFacts’ Quentin Peel here. Interesting that our interests are so aligned with our European friends.

Tweet of the day


More Brexit news…

Brussels must be chortling as these traitors in ermine betray 17.4 million voters (Daily Mail)

The Mail puts the boot into peers for amending the government’s monstrosity of an EU Withdrawal Bill 14 times. They should be treated as national heroes not traitors.

Arron Banks company provided £12m of services to Leave.EU (Guardian)

How did Arron Banks provide £12m of services to Leave.EU when it was only allowed to spend £700k during the referendum? Lots of questions raised by this story.

People's Vote campaign raises £100k in a week for huge anti-Brexit march (HuffPost)

Airbus space contract will move from UK to continent due to Brexit (Guardian)

Britain's retired sun seekers risk losing pensions after Brexit (Bloomberg)

Top Brexit comment

Robin Teverson: Without a customs union food will rot at our borders (Times £)

Abbas Akhoundi: Only a determined Europe will save the Iran nuclear agreement (FT £)

Looking forward…

Today, Thursday 10 May

- Brexit "war cabinet" meeting POSTPONED
09:30 ONS: UK trade statistics (March 2018) released
09:30 ONS: Construction output statistics (Jan-Mar 2018) released

Tomorrow, Friday 11 May

PM Geraint Davies MP private members' bill for referendum on Brexit deal in Commons