Parliament has spoken. Our MPs have decided that they don’t want Theresa May’s deal and they don’t want no deal either. In the worst episode of X Factor ever – we’ve hit deadlock and we need to go back to the public vote.
Jeremy Corbyn had a critical opportunity minutes after the PMs second spectacular defeat on her deal to move the Labour Party full square behind the campaign for the public to have the final say. In recent weeks, his support for this core plank of Labour policy has been muted, not least at Scottish Labour conference at the weekend where he whispered the words and couldn’t have moved on fast enough. On Tuesday, the words were completely absent. In their place was a demand for a fresh general election.
Leaving aside the brutal reality that Labour is polling a solid 20 points behind the SNP in Scotland and 10 points behind the Tories in England, how would an election resolve Brexit?
Even if Labour won the election promising a softer Brexit, it would still have to negotiate its deal with the 27 member states and then get it through the UK Parliament. A process that has taken Theresa May the best part of 3 years of government time, thousands of civil servants and a lifetime’s supply of Lockets before it croaked its last.
Constitutional issues dominating elections kills Labour. Look at what happened here in Scotland after the independence referendum. Yes voters left us in droves. No voters didn’t think we were strong enough on the union. History could repeat itself nationwide. Leave voters in the North of England abandoning Labour because we’re not pro-Brexit enough. Remain voters in Scotland and the metropolitan cities of the UK voting instead for parties committed to stopping Brexit altogether. The result being the Labour Party routed, another 5 years of Tory rule and all the associated misery.
Jeremy Corbyn loves elections. It’s where he’s at his best. On a soapbox, raging against the establishment, preaching to the converted. However, if he genuinely wants to win, he should desire a general election where Europe isn’t the defining issue. Where tackling poverty, improving workers’ rights and saving the NHS are instead the central issues.
Jeremy Corbyn should get back in step with his party and the country. Giving the people the final say is how we respect democracy and resolve Brexit. Then we can ask the people to kick the Tories out – it’s the only and best hope for a Labour Government.