Tuesday 25 June 2019 - People's Vote

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Morning Briefing: Will Labour move to a full-throated backing of a People's Vote?

It's going to be a long, hot summer of protest to Let Us Be Heard. Join us on Saturday in Cheltenham for the second of our 15 rallies around the country that lead up to a massive march on October 12. You can get tickets to the event here and we will be announcing a great array of speakers as the week goes on. As the political chaos continues, it is time to Let Us Be Heard!

Will "white smoke" emerge from Shadow Cabinet as Corbyn backs People's Vote in Commons?

Jeremy Corbyn gave perhaps his strongest hint yet that Labour will officially back a People’s Vote during exchanges with current Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Labour leader told the House of Commons: “Whatever Brexit plan the new Tory leader comes up with, after three long years of failure they should have the confidence to go back to the people on a deal agreed by parliament.”

He said that Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s approaches to Brexit had “no grip on reality”, saying they have no mandate to “force a disastrous hard-right Brexit” on the country.

He was backed in interviews by Chancellor John McDonnell, who was talking in the City where he hinted that “white smoke” can be expected to emerge from the Shadow Cabinet on the issue. Yesterday it emerged that trade union members are overwhelmingly in favour of a People's Vote to block a destructive No Deal, although it is understood that Unite general secretary Len McCluskey continues to push back.

We have been here before of course. Big promises of decisive action followed by limp compromise that only alienates more voters. The shadow cabinet meet today and with the clock ticking and the risk of No Deal rising, it remains to be seen if they have the courage to make a clear decision.

If he tries to kick the can into next week, next month or even the next party conference, Jeremy Corbyn should not be surprised if he finds Labour voters, members and MPs treat such antics with the contempt they deserve.

Boris Johnson's destructive No Deal push angers many Tories

As Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson has effectively been in hiding (apart from a staged “paparazzi” photo with his partner), the questions have mounted over what he plans to do and how he will do it, if elected Prime Minister.

He is currently refusing to enter into any TV debates, so Sky TV has to cancel their proposed face-off with Jeremy Hunt. He emerged last night to do his first media interview (on BBC News) and is planning a so-called media blitz today.

It means that his proxy followers such as Priti Patel or Johnny Mercer who have been sent out to sell their version of the “unicorn” fantasies being peddled by Johnson in his place can have a day off.

It is driving many influential Conservative supporters nuts: taxi tycoon John Griffin, who has gifted £4m to the party in the past six years, is threatening to withdraw his donations and yesterday called for a People’s Vote to avoid a destructive No Deal. Father of the House Ken Clarke said he would back a no confidence motion in his own party if he thought we were heading for No Deal and was deeply critical of the lack of thought and application to detail from Johnson.

The Independent reported on a poll which showed that the Tories could be decimated in a general election if Johnson or Hunt pursue a disastrous No Deal.

Some 30 per cent of 2015 Tory voters questioned by pollsters Survation said they would like the UK to remain in the EU, compared to 32 per cent who want no deal and 36 per cent who back leaving with an agreement with Brussels. The figures contrast sharply with recent polling suggesting that 83 per cent of current party members would support a no-deal leader.

And while 61 per cent of current members told the earlier YouGov survey they would be ready to accept “significant damage” to the UK economy as the price for Brexit, more than half (51 per cent) of the 2015 Tory voters said they were not prepared to suffer any financial loss whatsoever as a result of EU withdrawal, and just 8 per cent said they were willing to take a hit of £1,000 a year or more.

Only a People's Vote can get us out of the political quagmire

The prospect of a Boris Johnson committed to No Deal being unable to command a working majority in the House of Commons has been raised by constitutional experts – beginning speculation that Theresa May could be unable to go to the Queen to recommend a new Prime Minister.

With a hung Parliament, the DUP “confidence and supply” agreement to be renegotiated after two years, up to a dozen rebel Tories threatening to vote to block No Deal, plus a by-election due in Brecon and Radnorshire, it is now being openly debated that Boris Johnson would be unable to become PM, even if he was voted in as leader of the Conservative Party.

It demonstrates the utterly embarrassing chaos of the Brexit disaster and underlines the need for a People’s Vote to resolve it.

Join us in Cheltenham and Let Us Be Heard

The People's Vote roadshow moves to the West Country on Saturday with a massive rally in the Town Hall in Cheltenham. Join us and an array of stars and politicians to protest against a destructive No Deal. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

It's clear that Brexit must be put to the people. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the People's Vote campaign. Sign up to volunteer today. 

Quote of the Day

“It's looking more and more like we're going to have to have another referendum. Now I really felt that I would never ever say that because democracy is alive and well and should be kept so. But unfortunately we now have to consider, perhaps we made a mistake and a big one, and it's going to affect our country for some time. So I think we have to reconsider our position."

Tory donor and taxi cab boss John Griffin has given £4m to the party - and is now in favour of a People's Vote.

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People's Vote campaign news

More Brexit news

Tory donor backs People's Vote (New European)

Johnson defends Brexit plan and row silence (BBC News)

Johnson - I would not want tariffs in No Deal scenario (Politico)

Conservatives could become unelectable, says poll (Independent)

Top Brexit comment...

Rachel Sylvester: Boris Johnson's Brexit promises can't please everyone (Times £)

Andrew Harrop: Better for Corbyn to embrace the will of the party now than buckle later (LabourList)

Max Hastings: I was Boris Johnson's boss - he is utterly unfit to be PM (Guardian)