The Prime Minister took the Pisa this week, carting herself, dozens of advisers, cabinet colleagues and the world’s media to Tuscany to give a speech on the continued shambles that is Brexit.

You can’t walk two feet in Florence without tripping over a priceless piece of Renaissance art, so it was so typically Theresa May that she should stand before a white, bland and utterly soulless backdrop with the phrase “shared history, shared challenges, shared future” embossed on it. If only.

Michelangelo’s artwork that adorns so many churches and cathedrals across this beautiful city is admired for its depth and intricate detail.

The same could not be said of the Tories’ Brexit plan.

And what did her speech tell us? That it’s going to take a little longer to leave the European Union than we’d first been told and we’ll need to pay our bill on the way out.

Well, that’s just common sense – the only people in denial about that are Boris Johnson and his free market bandwagon.

People so rich they can play fast and loose with the country’s economic future.

People so free of a moral compass they are itching to do a deal with Donald Trump’s US government and barter away hard-fought employment rights.

I’m fraught with anger and frustration about Brexit.

I blame David Cameron for calling a referendum no one wanted in the first place but I also blame my party, the Labour Party, for a totally lazy and lacklustre Remain campaign that got us here.

And yes, I blame Jeremy Corbyn too for failing to use the power of his popular appeal to convince traditional Labour voters to see that Europe creates more good than harm.

Not only that, now the country has spoken, I’m embarrassed by the complete paucity of my party to say and do the right thing no matter how hard or unpopular that might be at first.

Seriously, Labour have just denied their own members a meaningful vote on the issue of Brexit at party conference – whatever happened to straight-talking, honest politics?

Make no mistake, Britain will be economically weaker and more isolated post-Brexit and the price of that will be felt by the working people of this country.

They’ll feel it as the dole queue gets bigger, as their employment rights disappear and as the price of food, fuel and services rise.

It might be fun and games to watch the Tories rip each other apart over Europe but Labour are equally culpable if we fail to fill the leadership vacuum.

I have long believed that Labour should be making a full-hearted, passionate case to retain full tariff-free access to the single market – the equivalent of membership. And we should accept all the conditions that come with that, including the free movement of labour.

The likelihood of that happening is disappearing by the day – but we should still try. It’s better to try and fail, than to fail to try.

And should we fail, the biggest test for Labour has yet to come because leaving the EU without access to the single market is not what I believe the country voted for.

If that happens then Labour must insist that the final Brexit deal goes to another public vote to be ratified or rejected. Ireland wouldn’t think twice about doing this.

If the UK Parliament and the other 27 nations of Europe get a final say on the deal, why shouldn’t we?

No one voted to be poorer but that’s what we’re all going to be.

Brexit is spiralling out of control and out of the interests of working people. That’s why we the people should take back control with a final vote on the deal.

Share This