UK Labour party backs a second Brexit referendum

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/25/brexit-2-uk-labour-party-back.html

Jeremy Corbyn favors a public vote to ”prevent a damaging Tory Brexit.”

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Yes, what a great idea…

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John Oliver did a great review of it in his Brexit III segment. Unless they can hold off the timeline with the EU for about 18 months, there’s no time left for a new referendum. He also points out that, like the first one, an A:B choice is insufficient to capture the real issue.

Remind me again: what’s the point of having the “Monarchy” part of a Parliamentary Monarchy if the Monarch is prohibited from, occasionally, saving the realm from it’s own stupidity? May and the Tories know now that leaving the EU will be disastrous, but they’d rather burn the whole place down than lose face. Labour never wanted Brexit to begin with, but they don’t have the votes to stop it. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single point of authority that could break through the impasse…

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Hey Europe! Remember what happened when some of our states tried to Brexit? That’s right, General Sherman burned a swathe from Atlanta to the sea. Take no prisoners!

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The bullshit of holding another vote is that it presumes the result will be to not leave – what happens if the vote goes the other way? No one has a plan for that (i.e., see the current situation), so why have a vote at all?

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It seems their plan is to keep holding referendums until they get the result they want.

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Seriously, at this point I´m pretty much fed up with this british bullshit. Just go, don´t let the door hit you.

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Roll for splash damage…

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If a second Brexit referendum keeps the UK in the EU, it will of course be a vindication of democracy
If a second Brexit referendum repeats the result, it will of course be a sign that regressive, backwards politics have won and a third Brexit referendum will be required.

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I’m not sure about Labour’s position, but Corbyn never opposed Brexit. I think that’s the reason why they never did the TV debate: May was not totally convinced but had to finish the kerfuffle her predecessors had got her in, and Corbyn was not really in opposition.

Regarding Jon Oliver’s segment: I guess two years is a little late, but to somehow invalidate the original referendum in court seems like a reasonable way. It would still split the nation, but at least it could be a legal way out.

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Thanks for the clarification. That does seem weird to me.

I guess my point is less that Corbyn opposed Brexit but rather that he wasn’t pro-Brexit.

ETA: I guess I’m wrong about that, too. Wow, the whole situation is so fucked, isn’t it?

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Why? I mean, there were so many documented problems with the first referendum.

  1. Leave supporters lied
  2. hostile foreign governments manipulated voters
  3. <2% is a microscopic majority to base such a impactful (as in asteroid-impactful) decision upon
  4. Even May’s Brexit deal that can’t get through Parliament is much worse than the “leave” that people voted on. No one’s had a chance to vote (other than through their MPs) on the issue of “no-deal Brexit” vs. “remain,” which is the real choice.

I mean, when the first referendum ran, it was presented as “Leave and create the perfect UK of your dreams” vs. “Remain and be subjugated by the whims of Greece.” Both of those were purely fictional constructs; why base real policy on them?

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Not openly, but Corbyn’s always been an anti-Europe Bennite and has done his best to do the absolute bare minimum required. Don’t forget that he was for the immediate invoking of Article 50 which started the Leave clock ticking.

Also, how the hell do we get this but nothing about the 9 MPs leaving Labour?

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Finally. Of course, he’s doing it for the wrong reasons and it’s probably too late, but my expectations of him in re: Brexit are low enough that I’ll take it.

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Right. He wasn’t an active participant in the leave campaign but he’s been a vocal euro-skeptic his entire career and has consistently voted to reduce or prevent UK involvement with the EU.

I’m an ocean away but it’s been pretty clear to me that the guy supports Brexit, and may very well prefer the hard Brexit option.

I’ve never been quite sure where all the assumptions that he could, or even wanted, to do anything to stop it came from. And this just looks like raw ass covering. Where ever that pressure was coming from, he’s doing the bear minimum they asked. After it’s too late to actually pull it off.

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I don’t think that’s accurate. The point of having a new vote is that Parliament has worked itself into a logjam, where there is no majority for ANY option. At least with a new referendum, you could lay out the options and people could vote and then that would probably resolve enough of the issue to get something passed. As it is now, basically everyone can claim their particular version represents “the will of the people”. It would be at least something if there was a vote on what people wanted. Yes, there’s a lot of different ways to structure it, but you would absolutely have to have at least no deal vs TM’s deal (or something similar) because otherwise, you end up right back where we are.

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He wants hard brexit because he thinks it’ll usher in the revolution.

I’m being more than a bit facetious here, but not as much as I’d like. There’s definitely a strong element of party politics involved, but also the idea that hard brexit would cause more damage to the capitalist overlords than the little people and…eh… yeah, I don’t like that kind of bet.

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The first referendum also deliberately excluded those of us who live overseas (and are therefore most directly affected by the decision) from voting. One would hope that the second referendum, if it happens, would actually allow everyone affected to vote - i.e. everyone with a British Passport no matter where they live in the world.

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Not really. There’s an actual deal on the table this time - the one negotiated by the current Conservative (minority) government.
That’s what makes it a huge difference to last time around. In 2016, the Leave campaign wilfully chose not to have a plan because, and they are on record as saying this, then they wouldn’t have anything they had to actually deliver. (Again, there were a number of worked out schemes for the UK to Leave the EU and they were all ignored or sidelined by the Leave campaign.) Oh, and a number of significant figures in the Leave campaign are also on record as saying that a close result wouldn’t settle anything and that a second referendum on the actual deal should Leave win would be a sensible proposition. It’s not as though this is something that has been plucked out of thin air.

Nearly three years later and we can finally have a debate about an actual proposal, with actual outcomes and actual likelihoods, instead of Project Fear on both sides. If there is a referendum and the Conservative deal is accepted, then no-one is standing in the way of executing it. What we (Remainers and sane Leavers alike) are united in opposing is the utter fiasco that having No Deal would lead to.

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Would this also extend to those EU nationals who have done the reverse to you - chosen to settle in the UK and establish their lives here? They are the other group who are being most directly affected by the decision and were excluded from participation too; they are effectively being turned into second-class citizens and have had no say in that either.

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