Hard Brexit is a catastophe. Labour should vote against it

Voting for Article 50 flies in the face of Labour's values


Tuesday 24 January 2017 will go down as a monumental day: the day parliament was given back its voice. This was not carried out by MPs but by a small, hardy group of campaigners who had to fight tooth and nail through the courts.

They have been fighting government bureaucracy and hypocrisy to give our elected representatives their voices back in the commons over the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.

The Supreme Court rules that parliament, not the Prime Minister, has to have the final vote on Brexit; parliament, not the government, has to be the one to decide if and how we leave the European Union.

Labour Against Brexit is a Labour member led organisation that campaigns against Brexit within the party and in the country. Since the campaign began on social media just over a week ago, we have grown to over 3,000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page and around 600 members on our Facebook group. We now also have a Twitter handle and a website.

Our campaign argues that it is now incumbent on Labour MPs to stand up and vote down Brexit, in the best interests of the people in the UK that the Labour Party has always sought to represent. To trigger Article 50 is to fly in the face of what Labour stands for.

Theresa May’s ‘hard’ Brexit is going to have a devastating impact upon the poorest and worst off in society, and our MPs know it. Our party campaigned for Remain, and our leadership has until recently stated that retaining Single Market membership would be a red line in negotiations.

During the referendum campaign, voters were repeatedly told that we would not be leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, and therefore they went to the ballot box with inaccurate information. The result was close, and polls suggest that many Leave voters would prefer to retain Single Market membership.

Brexit will damage jobs, security, international development, our financial sectors, our education system, our NHS, the environment, workers’ rights, and our research and development sectors. In short, it is a risk to all the areas that Labour has always campaigned on, and worked both in government and in opposition, to improve.

We were told that many jobs would be safe yet we are seeing big financial sectors already preparing to pull out of the UK. For example, we have had Nissan, who got a sweet deal from the government, nevertheless saying that they are ‘reviewing the situation’.

The situation is a catastrophe, and while it may be unpopular with some voters, Labour MPs have to stand up and say we are putting our country’s interests first and we are resisting triggering Article 50.

Let us, as the Labour Party, remember our core aims, values and reason for being, and ensure that the poor and most vulnerable in society are not worse off because of a ‘hard’ Tory Brexit; ‘hardest’ for Labour people.

We therefore call upon all Labour MPs to say NO to Brexit, joining many of their colleagues who have already stated that they will. And let us be proud of doing so.

Jonathon Proctor is chair of Labour Against Brexit

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6 Responses to “Hard Brexit is a catastophe. Labour should vote against it”

  1. David Gardiner

    Blatant lies! Voters were warned continuously that a leave vote meant leaving the single market, begging for MPS to ignore the electorate they claim to represent won’t be hard as it’s obvious they were not listening to concerns will be the final nail in the so called party for working men, you must be enjoying seeing Corbyn stuck on the fence waiting for a scapegoat.

  2. NHSGP

    I suggest a rebranding.

    Labour Against Democracy would be a better campaign name.

    Lets have a clean Brexit not a messy one.

  3. Craig Mackay

    Most MPs and Labour Party supporters will agree that the biggest mistake Labour ever made was to support the invasion of Iraq. That was done on the basis of an honest mistake, accepting the contents of a dodgy dossier and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. It transpired that Labour were badly misled by a document riddled with lies. The vote for Brexit was a consequence of a campaign that used extraordinary claims and lies that unravelled almost as soon as the result was declared. This time we know before the vote we are dealing came from a referendum result based substantially on lies.
    It is absolutely vital that Labour throw their weight behind this proposal from Tim Farron. Article 50 must only be triggered if there is a guarantee that either MPs can vote on the outcome of the negotiations or that a second referendum be held. The Leave supporters will hate this because they know that the economy will gradually unravel over the next couple of years risking that they will lose a second referendum.
    The Brexit strategy outlined by Theresa May will be extraordinarily damaging for the economy and for jobs. It is the poor, left behind, just about managing that will bear the brunt. The rich will do well as always but the rest of the population will feel many more years of declining standards of living.
    It is difficult to think of anything that could be more damaging to the lives of the working poor, the traditional Labour voters. For once Labour MPs need to realise this vote has probably more consequence for the country than all the other votes they are likely to take.

  4. Martin Jarvis

    And they are not named. I looked at the website and no names were there either.

    Are they against Brexit – and anti-democracy – or are they the same old Progress MPs using this in their now behind-the-scenes campaigning against the leader that the vastly increased membership voted for?

    We need to be told.

    As for Mr Mackay’s response, the leadership of the Party at the time – Blair & Brown – were involved in the construction of the ‘dodgy dossier’ and with the aid of spin doctor (paid liar) Alastair Campbell used whatever lies they could to get what they wanted.
    And please, if we are to talk of lies let us not forget the threat of war by Campbell, the attack on pensioners benefits to sway their vote, the ‘Red Bus’ painted that colour by the Tories to mislead voters into thinking it was Labour supported.

    There were lies and misdirection on both sides, but Exit won and Remain lost.
    Get over it and move on, it is all getting rather pathetic now.

    And BTW, my gut said Exit, my head said Remain, and I voted to stay in…

  5. Chris Kitcher

    FFS MP’s are there to look after our interests. Leaving the EU is stupidity personified and if these are serious politicians they should be showing the masses the error of their ways.

  6. Mick Hills

    Just another plot to undermine Labour Party members by Progress.The Party will stick by its guns and not vote against Brexit. This mob are victimising the Party because the vote was lost. Of course its a plot, wait until the names of the 50 come out..

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