The shift in Labour’s position to backing Remain in another referendum on a No Deal Brexit or a Tory Deal is very welcome. But its position is still ambiguous as it implies that a new Labour government could negotiate a withdrawal agreement that would protect working people. But further negotiations are not on offer and more importantly no form of Brexit would protect our interests. So going into a general election with such a fudge will weaken Labour’schances of winning.
The mood in the country has moved against No Deal or a Tory Brexit as the serious negative consequences become more apparent. Now is the time to continue to mobilise against Brexit and to press for Labour to adopt a fully coherent policy: Stop Brexit! Remain and Reform the EU. Only by adopting such a policy as soon as possible, will Labour be able to win back all those who deserted to support the LibDems and the Greens at the European elections. The danger is that having left it so long some on the left remain convinced there is another way while others have become disillusioned. Now we need decisive leadership. Labour’s September conference can confirm this policy shift. This would rebuild confidence in the party by the mass of new members who want a Labour government that would end neoliberalism.
The demonstration called for the 20 July, just 3 days before Johnson’s coronation, is therefore another necessary step in trying to stop the economic and social chaos of a Tory Brexit. Initially called the March for Change, the organisers have now called it “No to Boris – Yes to Europe”. They argue that “this is a national emergency. We won’t put up with a hard Brexit PM being imposed on the country and hurtling us towards the cliff edge.” And they are right. As the Tory Party is taken over by a hard right that is friendly to Farage’s Brexit Party, we need to mobilise against the politics of Johnson and Trump. On the demonstration, Another Europe is Possible will be organising a Left Bloc with the Love Socialism Hate Brexit group of MPs. This will be a focus for the left to put forward an agenda against the EU’s neoliberal policies and for solidarity across Europe.
The Labour Party is key to unlocking the political crisis in the country. John McDonnell is right when he says that Labour must be the party of Remain in a general election. There is danger that Johnson could call an election in September. Time is now running out. Labour’s shift in policy should be clear and consistent: Remain is better than Brexit – Stop Brexit.
Frank Morris, 10 July 2019
Stop Brexit – DEMONSTRATE 20 JULY, 12noon, Park Lane. JOIN the Left Bloc at corner of Stanhope Gate and Park Lane. Details here.
LOBBY the Labour Party NEC, Tuesday 23 July, 11.30am, 105 Victoria Street, SW1. Called by Another Europe is Possible. Details here.