Basically all left-wing parties except Labour explicitly back a 'People's Vote', contrary to the Lib Dems' latest messaging.
With the draft Brexit deal came inevitably a million statements from campaign groups, NGOs and political parties. But one has got rival party activists rather riled up.
As rumours of the agreement circulated on Tuesday, the Lib Dems began pushing a somewhat controversial line:
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to a People’s Vote.”
The press release (here) immediately sparked anger from, among others, Green Party activists – for the obvious reason that the Greens have backed a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ on the Brexit deal from early on.
The Greens’ 2017 manifesto stated:
“We will campaign for your right to vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal, including an option to stay in the EU.”
They won’t be the only ones rankled. As the Young Greens’ Nate Higgins noted on Twitter, the following other parties back a de facto second referendum:
- Scottish Green Party
- Green Party in Northern Ireland
- Plaid Cymru
- Scottish National Party
- Women’s Equality Party
- Social Democratic & Labour Party
Some activists described the Lib Dem claim as ‘a lie’:
This is stupid because:
1) It’s lie. There are of course other parties committed to @peoplesvote_uk
2) In repeating this lie the Lib Dems do 2 things. Firstly they undermine the cross party nature of the campaign. Secondly they reinforce that strong narrative of being liars https://t.co/4hL4QxUzQc
— Steve Hyndside (@steve4319) November 14, 2018
Another Green wrote:
“They’ve picked this lie as a very deliberate, consistent piece of messaging…now Vince is saying the same stuff himself.”
And the Green Party replied simply…
— Green Party (@TheGreenParty) November 14, 2018
But a serious point, if you’ll allow: if you wanted to actively undermine a People’s Vote, one way would be to suggest it has less widespread party support than it actually does.
The party could be forgiven for spinning the truth. But this seems to go past the point of spin – and won’t do any good for Lib Dem attempts to shake of their ‘fibbing’ image, after the tuition fee u-turn during the coalition years.
More than that though, it comes at a time when even the PM is saying ‘no Brexit‘ is on the table. Calls for a ‘People’s Vote’ are likely to grow in all parties over the next few days, as May’s deal crumbles beneath Cabinet resignations…
LFF is awaiting comment from the Lib Dems.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.