Tuesday 30 April 2019 - People's Vote

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Morning Briefing: Big day for Labour leadership

Thousands of People's Vote supporters have been writing to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership on the decision that Labour's National Executive will make on whether to include a People's Vote on the Euro election manifesto.

D-Day for the manifesto: all eyes on the Labour leadership 

It’s been discussed for days: will Jeremy Corbyn and Labour come off the fence and nail their colours to the People’s Vote mast. Today we might find out.

The carefully-constructed positioning of Labour ever since the 2016 referendum has been seemingly to have no position in order to let the Tories tear each other apart.

But the pressure has been building on whether to make an explicit pledge for a People’s Vote at the European elections. It has come from Deputy Leader Tom Watson, shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, MPs, MEPs who have decided to campaign anyway for a People's Vote, union leaders and activists.

Another "fudge" will be seen as highly demotivating out in the country by many Labour supporters, although the counter-argument is that the Labour leadership is actively negotiating with Theresa May’s team to find a compromise deal at the moment.

The People’s Vote campaign’s new website enables voters to find out which parties support a second referendum – click here to use it and share it. It demonstrates clearly that Labour's position is unclear.

The challenge for Corbyn is that he alienates people from across the spectrum: Momentum's Laura Parker (and a Labour MEP candidate) demanded a People's Vote: "Labour’s members already know which side they are on. The party should commit to bringing whatever Brexit deal is done back to the people, for our final say – and then to lead and win the argument for remaining in, and transforming, the EU." Leading Left-wingers such as Paul Mason are also pushing for a second vote.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson wrote a thoughtful piece for the Daily Mirror today on how, even though his constituents voted for Brexit, they deserve the opportunity to make a final decision once the deal details are known. "People have the right to a final say where they can compare the facts of any Brexit deal with the promises made in 2016." 

We will find out today whether Labour’s National Executive will keep the fudge or maximize the demand for a People’s Vote.

Under Orders: trying to keep Brexit out of the local election

Wondering why mainstream MPs aren’t talking about Brexit right now? It’s because they are under orders to keep quiet until the local elections in much of England and Northern Ireland finish on Thursday night.

With the Conservatives predicted to lose a massive 800 seats and Labour’s position on a People’s Vote unclear, both parties are trying to avoid the B-word.

Boris Johnson used his Telegraph column to beg voters not to take out their ‘Brexit frustrations’ on ‘hard-working councillors, while Jacob Rees Mogg used his LBC phone-in show to say: "People, I hope, will think as they go to the polling station, that this is about their council tax, about their bin collection, about their road maintenance. It's not about Brexit.”

While Jeremy Corbyn made a video on Twitter appealing for voters to “elect Labour councillors who will stand up for your community.” Obviously no mention of Brexit or a People’s Vote.

Don’t worry, life will get back to normal on Friday.

Don’t forget the energy of the youth vote

Lara Spirit, the inspirational co-founder of Our Future Our Choice (OFOC) who are campaigning for a People's Vote, has launched a timely and devastating attack on political parties for failing to mobilise the young vote during this period of political chaos.

She points out that “from school climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion occupations and multiple Brexit demonstrations, my generation has led a new, peaceful era of political campaigning.”

But she is furious that there has been not enough done to mobilise young people’s desire for a People’s Vote by the main political parties.

She said: “The opportunity to fuse the energy and ingenuity of a year of peaceful protest with the European elections has been ignored by politicians promising change.

“We risk rolling back the progress of the last three years. To do that would be to betray everything young campaigners have stood up for, and to dismiss the most powerful remain argument of all: that the voices of those whose futures are most at stake from our political failure must be heard.”

Help get young people registered to vote. Here is the link.

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

"My constituents backed Brexit - but they have a right to a say on how we leave."

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson on why he is backing a People's Vote.

Video of the Day 

Former World Trade Organisation director Pascal Lamy mocked former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith's Brexit proposals for Northern Ireland with hand gestures and an eye-roll, calling them 'pie in the sky'.

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Tweet of the Day

Hull North's Labour MP Diana Johnson shared the latest data from her constituency, which voted Leave by 52.4%-47.6% in 2016 and now has a majority in favour of Remain, with the largest number wanting a second referendum. She has personally shifted her view to backing a People's Vote: "I believe that this is now the best way forward."


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More Brexit news…

Theresa May to consider axeing Human Rights Act after Brexit, minister reveals (The Independent)

Jeremy Corbyn braced for second referendum showdown (The Standard)

Theresa May to face unprecedented grassroots leadership challenge (The Sun)

Top Brexit comment...

Rachel Sylvester: Corbyn's Brexit silence is driving away Remainers (The Times £)

Paul Mason: Fight for the open hearts and minds of progressive Britain

Chuka Umunna: If Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey really wanted to be the voice of UK business, she should stop pushing Brexit (Independent)

Stephen Bush: What to look out for in the local elections (New Statesman)