Tom Watson is urging grassroots members to enroll to a public declaration calling for Labour to be “the social gathering of stay”, as stress mounts on Jeremy Corbyn to embrace an anti-Brexit place.
In a transfer more likely to be thought to be provocative by Corbyn’s staff, Watson is publishing a press release on-line, and welcoming signatures, to underline the breadth of concern about Labour’s stance.
“Because the social gathering of stay, we won’t take each voter with us, nevertheless it’s the one means that Labour can win, and the one solution to preserve our nation collectively,” the assertion says.
Because the social gathering’s disastrous efficiency on the European elections in Might, profitable simply 14% of the vote, Labour’s place has already advanced.
Corbyn has repeatedly mentioned, together with within the Home of Commons, that any Brexit deal – or a no-deal Brexit – needs to be put to a public vote.
He advised Theresa Might final week: “Whoever the subsequent prime minister is, they may barely maintain the assist of this home, so that they definitely don’t have any mandate to power a disastrous hard-right Brexit on this nation. No matter Brexit plan the brand new Tory chief comes up with, after three lengthy years of failure they need to have the boldness to return to the individuals on a deal agreed by parliament.”
A few of Corbyn’s closest allies, together with Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, have additionally mentioned they wish to see a shift, with the problem chopping throughout the standard left-right divide throughout the social gathering.
Corbyn has insisted that he’s nonetheless consulting on the problem; and has privately pointed to the historic classes of the Harold Wilson authorities.
Wilson formally backed continued membership of the European Group within the 1975 referendum; however took a again seat through the marketing campaign, and allowed his cupboard to marketing campaign on opposing sides. A kind of then urging a go away vote was Corbyn’s lifelong political hero, Tony Benn.
Corbyn’s spokesman has mentioned a agency place is more likely to be reached earlier than MPs go away Westminster for the summer season recess later this month.
If the brand new stance isn’t resolutely anti-Brexit, Labour marketing campaign teams together with Love Socialism Hate Brexit are readying themselves for a summer season of motion earlier than the social gathering’s convention in September.
It was final yr’s convention in Liverpool the place the “composite movement”, which first put the choice of a referendum “on the desk” as a part of Labour coverage, was hammered out.
However a lot of MPs and members of the shadow cupboard, together with Jon Trickett and Ian Lavery, proceed to have profound considerations concerning the social gathering embracing a stay place.
They level out that the Brexit social gathering represents a risk to Labour, in addition to the anti-Brexit Lib Dems. A YouGov ballot for the Occasions this week put Labour in fourth place behind each these events, and the bitterly-divided Conservatives, on 18% of the vote.
Watson’s assertion says: “Labour’s democratic custom confers on us an obligation to win elections. With out energy we are able to obtain nothing. As a celebration of Brexit we’ll by no means win once more, and that’s an abrogation too far.
“As a result of we love Britain, and since we consider in Labour, we’ll struggle, struggle and struggle once more to maintain Britain within the EU. The subsequent step, which solely Labour can ship, must be a public vote on the Brexit fiasco, with Labour main the best way for stay.”
It goes on to say “a democratic socialist Labour authorities – equality, social justice, alternative and prosperity for all of Britain – will observe swiftly after we regain the individuals’s belief.”