The Independent Group prefer to bash Corbyn than try and get a Peoples Vote

TIG ignored the wishes of the Peoples Vote campaign

Last week, the Indepedent Group (TIG) were given a choice. Maximise the chances of a second referendum? Or jeopardise the chances of a second referendum but score political points against Jeremy Corbyn? They chose the latter.

Last Thursday, TIG’s Sarah Wollaston introduced an amendment to Parliament which, if approved, would have given the public a referendum between leaving the EU ‘on Parliament’s terms’ and remaining.

This was not the first time. She has tabled, or threatened to table, such an amendment at least twice before – the second time with her future TIG colleagues Luciana Berger and Mike Gapes.

Every time, the amendment has been accompanied by two things – criticism of Corbyn’s ‘fence-sitting’ and a (perhaps initially surprising) lack of enthusiasm from the Peoples’ Vote campaign and its parliamentary supporters.

Peoples Vote supporter Alistair Campbell who is usually quick to criticise Corbyn

Why would the Peoples Vote campaign not be delighted with an amendment to have a Peoples Vote? Because they, like everyone in Parliament, knows Parliament will never vote for it.

There aren’t enough Tory rebels (who will vote for it) to counter the Labour rebels and the DUP (who will vote against it).

And every time Parliament votes against a Peoples’ Vote or an amendment is tabled and then withdrawn, the fact that Parliament does not support it is highlighted.

TIG know this – yet they tabled the amendment anyway.

Labour, with the Peoples Vote campaign’s blessing, abstained on it and before you could blink, a TIG email had landed in their supporters’ inboxes accusing Labour of “betrayal”.

No doubt, this message of “betrayal” will be repeated constantly by TIG, the Greens, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party until the next election and beyond.

Many will believe it. It is a simple argument (Labour abstained on a second referendum after promising to support it) with a complex counter-argument. So it will be a difficult accusation for Labour to dispel.

So what is the counter-argument? Why did Labour abstain? Because they wanted to keep their powder dry. They have a better plan.

Its called the Kyle-Wilson amendment and, unlike the Wollaston amendment, has a chance of being passed through Parliament.

The founder of ‘Love Socialism, Hate Brexit’ MP Lloyd Russel-Moyle

Like the Wollaston amendment, the Kyle-Wilson amendment would also lead to a public vote.

Unlike the Wollaston amendment, the Kyle-Wilson amendment would mean Labour whipped to abstain on Theresa May’s deal, allowing it to pass on the condition that is put to a referendum. Parliament would decide the options on the referendum’s ballot paper.

This is why Tory MPs who would not support Wollaston’s amendment might support Kyle-Wilson’s.

Tory MP Huw Merriman and Labour’s Peter Kyle

As Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson have said, the Wollaston amendment was “more about scoring political points than anything else”.

Those who want to give the public a final say on May’s Brexit deal should stop posturing and unite around the Kyle-Wilson amendment.

Joe Lo is a reporter for Left Foot Forward

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

7 Responses to “The Independent Group prefer to bash Corbyn than try and get a Peoples Vote”

  1. nhsgp

    Notice how the vote is never May’s pathetic disasterous deal and a clean brexit?

    They are desperate to avoid that being the question. It’s all about a con. How to offer the public 2 unacceptable choices, ignoring the obvious one.

    The reason, they know the would lose a clean versus messy brexit. The public would still vote to leave.
    They wouldn’t vote for austerity and handing over billions and billions to the UK paid by taxes for no services, and by cuts to services here.

  2. nhsgp

    Brexit is breaking our politics. Let’s find a new way forward now, before Brexit breaks Britain. K&W

    ======

    Yep, none of the parties are doing anything constructive.

    Have a clean vs messy brexit vote. The public when told about the austerity, the money that they will be forced to pay to the EU, and because they have seen the EU’s true nature will vote for a clean break.

    Or even better, lets have consent. Labour Tories Lib Dems SNP don’t care about consent. The dire Labour slogan for For the Many, Not the Few just sounds like a rapist manifesto when you swap sex with money.

    Lets have people register their wishes. EU citizenship for remainers, none for leavers. Then a stamp is added to your passport saying you have signed up for EU citizenship. None for leavers.

    Next that information is sent to HMRC, and remainers tax codes are adjusted so they pay the EU. Same for leavers, except here they don’t pay so their tax code goes down. Services are then unaffected.

    That’s a very simple consensual set up driven by a principle, the principle of informed explicit consent. Something all politicians don’t give a shit about.

    Each side then gets what they want, and its all clear and above board.

    Now will remainers pay the 100 bn pension debt, and 43.5 bn a year payment/subsidy costs?

    My bet is push comes to shove, they won’t pay

  3. Julia Gibb

    Why must we have this constant deflection and spin. Corbyn has failed to lead. The country needs a people’s vote. However Corbyn refuses to talk to the other parties. Labour are the only opposition party not signed up.
    Instead of attacking TIG ask why they left. Ask why Labour are in free fall in the polls.
    Leadership is not quoting a 6 month old mandate. It is adapting and leading. Identifying a weakness and moving quickly.
    May and Corbyn are Party focused. Neither will listen to the other parties.

  4. Frankie D.

    @NHSGP There is no such thing as a “clean brexit”.

  5. Patrick Newman

    Julia, regain your self-respect. Check your facts. There are at least two errors. Clue – what did the PV say to Corbyn?

  6. Patrick Newman

    I had got it fixed in my mind that TIG was exclusively white but I realised I had somehow forgotten that Umanna is black. Then I thought for a black man he is very white inside! Anyway his skin colour is not going to save the TIG from fading from the political scene at the next general election. I wonder if Angela Smith has an unorthodox view on Chuka’s skin colour!

  7. Matt Young

    Why haven’t you deleted Patrick Newman’s racist comment about Chuka Umunna’s ‘whiteness’?

    It says a lot about how much you really care. Anyone outside Labour is fair game.

Leave a Reply