Emergency action: Labour must make a public vote its bottom line, and get a general election

In a desperate move by a Prime Minister who has run out of options, the Labour Party has been invited to enter negotiations with Theresa May about reaching cross-party agreement on a Brexit deal. With no support in parliament or in her own party, the Prime Minister has turned to Labour to bail her out.

But Theresa May has been clear that the legally binding part of the Brexit deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, cannot be renegotiated. This means that the only concessions Labour could obtain will be non-binding assurances about the future relationship. Any future Tory Prime Minister could simply rip up these “guarantees” after Theresa May leaves office, and it is the stated aim of the vast majority of Tory MPs to do precisely this.

The only way to guarantee jobs, rights and protections - and Labour’s reputation with its membership and the electorate - is to support a confirmatory public vote on any option which is agreed by parliament, which will put additional pressure on the government to hold the early General Election the country needs.

Under the current leadership, Labour is offering a vision of hope which has inspired millions of people. Tory Brexit threatens this, and so does any perceived participation in delivering it. Any compromise deal which is now agreed by parliament will have no legitimacy if it is not confirmed by the public.

The views of members are clear. Labour’s democratically established policy, passed at party conference in September 2018, is to oppose a Brexit deal which does not meet Labour’s six tests and put any deal that does to a public vote. It would be untenable for Labour not to insist on a public vote on a deal which did not meet these tests.

It is not Labour’s job to rescue Theresa May. We need a general election to kick out the Tories.

We - your supporters - urge you to make a confirmatory public vote your bottom line in negotiations with Theresa May and to fight to bring this government down.


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