By Saeed Sobhani

The Labor Party and the referendum again in England

June 26, 2019

TEHRAN- years has passed since the referendum was hold over the Brexit, which ended up in the victory of the proponents of the UK exit from the EU. But the details of this departure remains ambiguous among the British authorities, and this ambiguity seems to be intensified in 2019. 

British citizens are aware that a “soft Brexit” agreement with Europe, in the style of PM May, will only lead to the loss of many privileges for London. At the same time, holding a referendum again in Britain will also lead to a new crisis in the country, and will outrage the supporters of Brexit deal. Each one of the options will certainly have consequences for London and neither one will offer a stable and improved situation for the British. In other words, Brexit is the UK frustration point with Europe and the international system.Over time, the UK public frustration will grow over the Brexit crisis. It matters little whether the Labor Party or Conservative Party holds the top political and executive positions in the UK. What matters is the complex situation that London will face for at least a decade.

Labour MPs asked by party if they will stand at next general election

as Guardian reported, Labour MPs have been given a fortnight to decide whether they want to stand again for parliament as the party gears up for an early general election by kicking off what some fear could turn into a wave of deselections.

Those MPs who want to continue to represent their constituency in future must first navigate the trigger-ballot process. After a contentious rule-change at last year’s Labour conference, that means commanding the support of two-thirds of local party branches and two-thirds of affiliated trade union branches. If an MP fails to do so, an open selection process would be triggered in which they could be challenged by other candidates. Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, wrote to all Labour MPs on Monday, saying they should let the party’s legal department know by 6 pm on 8 July “if you wish to remain a candidate at the next general election”.

The letter concluded: “May I also take this opportunity to thank you for the work you have done so far on behalf of the party in parliament.”

A Labour spokesman said: “Ahead of a possible general election, Labour will begin a reselection process of MPs. We are preparing for a general election, whenever it comes, The process isn’t new.”

Some MPs who have been critical of Jeremy Corbyn fear it could open the way to their removal, though the row over the party’s Brexit stance cuts across many of the usual dividing-lines in the party. News that the process was being started came before what had been intended to be a significant shadow cabinet meeting, but which senior Labour sources now say is unlikely to shift the party’s policy any closer to a full-throated remain stance. In parliament on Monday, Corbyn made clear that Labour would try to force the next prime minister to put their Brexit plans “back to the people”.

In response to a statement from Theresa May about last week’s European Council meeting, he asked the prime minister: “In her view, what would be worse: crashing out with no deal in October, or putting this issue back to the people for a final say?
“Whoever the next prime minister is, they will barely hold the support of this house, so they certainly have no mandate to force a disastrous hard-right Brexit on this country. 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.”

Corbyn told colleagues last week he had been reading the autobiography of the party’s former leader Harold Wilson, who advocated remaining a member of the common market in the 1975 referendum while largely taking a backseat during the campaign and allowing cabinet ministers to support either side. Several shadow cabinet members emerged from last week’s meeting with the clear impression that a decision would be made about Labour’s Brexit stance on Tuesday after Corbyn had consulted trades union general secretaries.
Corbyn’s deputy, Tom Watson, said: “We had a long discussion last week and we all decided we were going to take a decision at the shadow cabinet. It will be quite a historic day and I hope we can formalise our support for remaining in the EU and supporting the people having the final say on the deal.”
However, several members of the shadow cabinet remain concerned about any policy that could be portrayed as seeking to overturn the result of the 2016 referendum and Corbyn is now not expected to make a speech on the issue in the coming days.

Tensions at the top of the party exploded into the open after Labour’s disastrous showing in last month’s European elections, with Watson and the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, pushing openly for a shift in the party’s stance. Even some of Corbyn’s most loyal lieutenants, including the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, have become increasingly convinced that pledging to back a referendum – and campaign for remain – was essential for party morale. Corbyn said Labour would work across the House of Commons to avert a no-deal Brexit.

Trade unions split over whether Labour should back Remain in second EU referendum

Howard Beckett, Unite's assistant general secretary, made the union's position clear during talks with the Labour leader on Monday. It is understood the union’s executive committee agreed on its Brexit position - which also includes opposition to a second referendum - at a meeting on Sunday.

Mr. Corbyn, who has called for a referendum on any Brexit deal passed by Parliament, met with the leaders of every trade union affiliated to Labour to canvas their views ahead of a crunch Shadow Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.CWU general secretary Dave Ward also made clear his union's opposition to Labour campaigning for Remain.

But every other union, including Unison, the GMB, and TSSA, urged Mr. Corbyn to back staying in the EU. A trade union source told PoliticsHome: “The CWU are resisting, but not to the same extent as Unite.

"The Bakers’ Union and Aslef have come round to the view that a Remain position is where Labour needs to be."The result of the European election has focused a lot of minds. People realise that we need to become a Remain party to win votes back from the Lib Dems."

Senior Labour figures believe the party must make clear its position on Brexit before Parliament breaks up for the summer recess on 25 July."This can’t be allowed to drag on over the summer - people need to know where we stand," said one source.Mr. Corbyn is thought to be edging closer to supporting Remain, but some of his closest aides - including chief of staff Karie Murphy and communications chief Seumas Milne - are against the move. Significantly, John McDonnell and Barry Gardiner have now joined their Shadow Cabinet colleagues Tom Watson, Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer in backing Remain, although party chairman Ian Lavery is still opposed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Corbyn gave his strongest anti-Brexit comments yet in the Commons on Monday.

Responding to a statement by Theresa May on last week’s European Council, he said: “Will the Prime Minister tell us, whether she believes ‘no deal’ should be on the table as a viable option?"And, in her view, what would be worse: crashing out with no deal in October, or putting this issue back to the people for a final say?"

‘Brexit game has changed!' Tony Blair issues fiery threat on anniversary of EU vote

THREE years on from the Brexit vote which dictated Britain would leave the European Union, former prime minister Tony Blair has issued a fiery prediction on the future of Brexit negotiations.

Tony Blair has said the drama of the Tory leadership contest has meant: “It is possible to miss the fact that the game on Brexit is changing.” He predicts that a Tory government under Boris Johnson, the current frontrunner in the leadership race, increases the likelihood of a no deal scenario. But he says such an outcome would raise the probability of a second referendum - something he is an ardent campaigner for. The Tony Blair Institute has shared a video, titled 'Brexit: The Endgame', in which the ex-prime minister issues his latest views on Brexit. In the video, he insists that the “game has changed”, and calls for Remainers to back a second public vote.

He warns against a hard Brexit saying it “will mean a painful adjustment process”.The former prime minister said: “A soft Brexit is now effectively going to be off the table and a referendum, therefore, becomes more likely.”
He went on the explain that Brexit policy under Mr. Johnson would steer Britain towards a hard Brexit, or even a no deal.

But if the Tory leadership hopeful takes either plan to Parliament, Mr Blair said: “I do not believe any British Prime Minister will be so irresponsible as to do no deal without going back to the people, but if they tried to do it, I’m pretty sure Parliament would insist that such a step could not be taken without the endorsement of the British people.”

The video, published by the Tony Blair Institute, is a clear message to Remainers. He advised those in favour of Britain staying in the EU that they should “focus on and point out the dangers of hard Brexit”.Mr Blair uses examples such as how the service sector will be hard hit and the impact a hard exit would have on the goods sector, even if tariff-free access is negotiated. He also pushed for people to fight for a People’s Vote in warning “ the game on Brexit has changed”.

He concluded by saying that “maximum unity behind the cause” is required. The video has been viewed over 55,000 times and has received over 1,000 engagements on Twitter.


 

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