Labour Parties in Leave seats call for fresh Brexit referendum

“The mood is changing”, say Labour activists in Leave-voting seats.

25th January 2019

  • “The mood is changing”, say Labour activists in Leave-voting seats

  • Hundreds of local parties set to discuss anti-Brexit motion, with dozens already confirmed as passing it

  • Many local parties in Leave-voting areas back motions calling for fresh referendum and special conference

Following the massive grassroots surge of anti-Brexit motions to Labour conference in September – during which an unprecedented 100+ CLPs submitted motions opposing Brexit – hundreds more local parties are now set to formally take a position in favour of a public vote.

Many of the CLPs taking an anti-Brexit stance are Leave-voting constituencies, and activists in those seats are speaking out about the mood in their area.

Dozens of local parties Have already passed the new anti-Brexit motion, with well over 200 set to have debated it before the end of the month. Left wing anti-Brexit group Another Europe is Possible has been pushing the motion since November.

The motion calls on Labour to take a comprehensive position in favour of a fresh referendum, including putting a commitment to calling one in any manifesto, and for a special conference so that members can decide Labour’s policy. It also calls on a radical Labour government to “halt and reverse privatisation, expand common ownership, protect migrants’ rights, tax the rich to fund public services and abolish the anti-union laws.”

Nadia Whittome, a spokesperson for Another Europe is Possible, said:

“The debate in Labour is moving quickly. A big majority of Labour members, including those on the left, are now in favour of campaigning in favour of a fresh referendum – and they won’t be ignored. Having inflicted a huge defeat on Theresa May’s Brexit deal and with the Tories so divided, this is a huge opportunity for us. The Brexit project is about attacking the rights of migrants and workers and deregulating the economy. By opposing it, we wouldn’t just be doing the right thing, we’d also be laying the ground for uniting the party and winning the next election.”

Ana Mosaic (Old Bexley and Sidcup CLP – 62.4% estimated Leave vote), said:

“We are in the strong Brexit supporting constituency of  Old Bexley and Sidcup, but the mood is changing. Locally we have seen cuts to adult social care, youth services and continued wasted spend on temporary housing and a huge increase in targeted burglaries.  We need the focus on these pressing issues and trust our leadership to now support a second vote with Remain on the ballot, campaigning to vote to Remain. We must deliver on our brilliant manifesto pledges but we can only do this when people are in work and our tax revenue and GDP is healthy.  Brexit in any form risks UK prosperity and peace in Northern Ireland, our CLP believes our leadership must come off the fence now and make the case robustly to remain in Europe.”

Roy Bailey in Bracknell CLP (estimated Leave vote 53.2%) said:

“Bracknell CLP passed a clearly worded anti-Brexit motion at last week’s all members’ meeting. We are  calling on the leadership to convene a special conference so that our members can democratically decide as a movement what we are going to do next about the Tory Brexit mess. Overwhelmingly, members in Bracknell want to campaign for a public vote on Brexit. The discussion was robust but the  victory for this position was decisive. There is no Brexit outcome that benefits the UK, and Labour must take a lead on restoring sanity to British politics.”

Cllr Phil Barlow in Braintree CLP (estimated Leave vote 61.5%) said:

‘It seems obvious to me we now need to take this process back to the people. The difference between the referendum of 1975 and 2016 is that in 1975 the terms of the arrangement were clear. After 2016 nobody can claim to know exactly which bit of the club people voted to leave, and certainly Parliament doesn’t seem able to work it out. The Labour Party should lead on this and put it back to the people. Otherwise the communities in my area will probably suffer a big financial hit and we [Labour] will not recover from it easily.’

Mike Hirst, from Mid Norfolk CLP (estimated Leave vote 60.6%) said:

“The Labour party I joined fights for working people, the disadvantaged, the marginalised, for dignity and security for all of us. Migrants are workers just like us and enabling an attack on their rights, while also robbing our young people of opportunities through freedom of movement will be a mistake that will come back to haunt Labour. As socialists, we should defend and extend every right we’ve got, and that includes freedom of movement.”

Sam James, from South Swindon CLP (estimated Leave vote 51.7%) said:

“As Labour Party members we know that Brexit will make the poorest poorer and will frustrate the efforts of a Labour government to introduce the radical change this country so desperately needs!”

Caroline Egglestone, Bracknell CLP member, said:

“Labour members are overwhelmingly in favour of a second referendum. MPs had the chance to vote in Parliament and that took us to a complete deadlock. So it’s time to extend article 50 and ask the people for the final say on this – a route which increasingly looks like the only viable way forward. And we want the chance to be able to vote for remain! Not just a false choice between no deal and a rubbish deal. We passed the Another Europe is Possible motion in Bracknell CLP to make sure that the Labour leadership hears our message – and to encourage them to wholeheartedly get behind a second referendum. Labour agreed its Brexit policy at party conference. We need to honour the spirit of that policy and fight a Tory Brexit every step of the way.”

ENDS 

NOTES

  1. For more information please ring Michael on 07964791663 or email info@anothereurope.org

  2. The full motion (which will vary in local areas) is here: https://www.anothereurope.org/labour_motion/

  3. An exact count of how many motions have passed and been submitted is not possible, as Labour does not keep a central database and we track the progress of motions manually via phonebanking and a big spreadsheet, which gives a time delay. Another Europe has commitments from activists in well over 200 CLPs to submit the motion for debate, and we have dozens of confirmed passes, including in the CLPs quoted above.

  4. We count 119 CLPs who submitted anti-Brexit motions to party conference in September


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