The mainstream media have just widely announced that Jeremy Corbyn is to back a second EU referendum. However, this is very dishonest, as no referendum motion has actually been tabled.
Furthermore, the media also need to learn the significant difference between a ‘people’s vote’, which is about asking the public about the terms of Brexit, and a completely new referendum. The Conservative office posted a highly dishonest tweet claiming that the Labour party are somehow “trying to stop Brexit”, so I am deeply suspicious of the fanfare of completely incorrect announcements in the media this evening.
Here is the Labour party’s actual press release:
“From: Labour Party Press Office firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: 25 February 2019 17:27
To: Labour Party Press Office email@example.com
Subject: NEWS FROM LABOUR: Labour to table amendment to make its credible alternative plan the UK’s Brexit negotiating position
Labour to table amendment to make its credible alternative plan the UK’s Brexit negotiating position.
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will tomorrow (Tuesday 26 February) seek to enshrine Labour’s five Brexit demands in law by tabling an amendment to the government’s Brexit motion.
Labour’s amendment would force the government to make its credible alternative plan the Government’s negotiating objectives. Labour’s five demands for the Brexit deal are:
· A permanent and comprehensive customs union with the EU;
· close alignment with the Single Market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations;
· dynamic alignment on rights and protections;
· commitments on participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, including in areas such as the environment, education, and industrial regulation; and
· unambiguous agreements on the detail of future security arrangements, including access to the European Arrest Warrant and vital shared databases.
Jeremy Corbyn will tell a meeting of Labour’s Parliamentary Labour Party this evening that the party will back the Cooper-Letwin amendment to take ‘No Deal’ off the table and announce that Labour will also put forward or support an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit.
Speaking at tonight’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will say:
“The Prime Minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous No Deal. We cannot and will not accept.
“Last week, after our visit to talk to EU officials and leaders in Brussels and Madrid, no one can be in any doubt Labour’s alternative Brexit plan is serious and credible. We are convinced our alternative, which puts jobs and living standards first, could command support in the House of Commons, bring people who voted Leave and Remain together, and be negotiated with the EU.
“That’s why we will be putting down an amendment in parliament this week setting out Labour’s plan: for a comprehensive customs union with a UK say; close alignment with the single market; guarantees on rights and standards; protection for Britain’s role in EU agencies; and a security agreement which guarantees access to the European arrest warrant and vital shared databases. And we will be calling for legislation to underpin this mandate.
“We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a No Deal outcome. One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent No Deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal.
“That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.”
Notes to editors
- The full text of Labour’s amendment, to be tabled tomorrow, reads:
That this House instructs Ministers
(a) to negotiate with the EU for changes to the Political Declaration to secure:
(i) a permanent and comprehensive customs union with the EU;
(ii) close alignment with the single market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations;
(iii) dynamic alignment on rights and protections;
(iv) commitments on participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, including in areas such as the environment, education, and industrial regulation; and
(v) unambiguous agreement on the detail of future security arrangements, including access to the European Arrest Warrant and vital shared databases;
(b) to introduce primary legislation to give statutory effect to this negotiating mandate;
There is no mention of another referendum in the amendment.
The press release does mention Labour’s intention, which is in line with their Conference policy – to put forward an amendment if all other options to prevent a Conservative no-deal Brexit are exhausted.
Labour’s position has not changed.
The amendment tabled on 29 January was defeated because the so-called moderates in the party refused to support it. The official Opposition’s amendment was defeated by division, 327 to 296. This amendment would have required Parliament to consider and vote on options which prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
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