Pro-EU parties hit out at Independent Group ‘lie’ over People’s Vote

Heidi Allen MP said her party was the 'only one' pushing for a fresh referendum. Ahem...

Some lies in politics are only unearthed after months of digging. Others are much more blatant…

So this from the Independent Group’s Heidi Allen (a former Tory MP) had people rather riled up:

The ‘only ones’ to back a public vote on Brexit? People on Twitter were quick to point out that the Green Party and the Lib Dems have been calling for a ‘People’s Vote’ long before the Independent Group even existed.

The SNP and Plaid Cymru have also long backed a fresh referendum, giving voters in Scotland and Wales a strong Remain voice.

Many were confused as to why Allen would be so nakedly partisan when the EU elections operate under a proportional list system, one which endears itself to alliances.

Plenty of Labour’s candidates for the European elections are likely to back a fresh referendum. Indeed, the party’s current leader in the European Parliament has been at the forefront of such calls, with Richard Corbett MEP demanding Article 50 be revoked if there’s no Brexit deal.

The Independent Group’s pro-EU competitors were quick to debunk Heidi Allen’s claim…

A Lib Dem source told Left Foot Forward:

“Currently the Independent Group is a hashtag and a collection of branded lanyards.

“In these elections, the Liberal Democrats are the party of remaining in the EU, we have 100,000 members and a supporter base across the country working hard to secure that.”

The Greens’ Baroness Jenny Jones – a former Brexiteer – hit back at Allen’s claim:

Sian Berry AM, co-leader of the Green Party, said:

“The Green Party has called for a People’s Vote on Brexit since the start. But we also want to tackle the intolerable inequality and insecurity which fuelled the Brexit vote in the first place.

“So if you want to vote for a party demanding a People’s Vote and looking to fix the root causes of Brexit – not repeat the mistakes of the past – vote Green.”

Plaid Cymru also challenged Heidi Allen’s claim, telling LFF:

“It doesn’t fill you with hope that ‘Change UK’ are going to change anything if they keep pushing these myths. Plaid Cymru was one of the first parties to back a People’s Vote and that is the platform we will be running on”

With nearly every reply to Heidi Allen’s tweet condemning the ‘lie’, the Independent Group don’t come out well from this. Particularly as they’ll need to work with other parties to secure a lasting foothold in British politics…

The Independent Group are currently recruiting for MEP candidates. This might not be the best way to convince people of the party’s credibility…

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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7 Responses to “Pro-EU parties hit out at Independent Group ‘lie’ over People’s Vote”

  1. Tom Sacold

    We need a fully socialist commitment to implementing the Referendum result to Leave the neoliberal capitalist club of the EU. We don’t need another vote.

  2. Boffy

    Exactly what “socialist commitment” would that be with a reactionary Tory government in office??? How much less would it be so, when that government is headed by a Bojo, Gove or Rees-Mogg. Even if we had a Labour government, it would be a commitment to leave and EU whose “neoliberal” current politics is a function of the fact that the national states that comprise its political bodies representatives – Council of Ministers, Commission, European Parliament – are themselves dominated by neoliberal political parties – not for some socialist nirvana, but for the reality of the undemocratic, neoliberal British capitalist state.
    Preferring your national capitalist state to some other capitalist state, purely on the basis that it is “your” nation state, is called nationalism not socialism. Its part of the ideology that led socialists to line up behind “their” nation state in 1914, to fight the workers of other nation states. Those that hold such views are not necessarily themselves racists, but the idea itself is fundamentally racist, because it privileges your own ethnicity as being somehow superior to other ethnicities. It is divisive which is contrary to the basic ideology of socialism which is based upon solidarity and internationalism.
    What we need is socialists that argue for socialist internationalism, who have faith in the working-class as an international class, not a nationally delimited class, and who will fight for solidarity of workers across Europe, to create a Workers Europe. The EU is not a barrier to such a project, but the fundamental starting point for it.

  3. Patrick Newman

    Heidi did not lie! She is basically still a Tory and therefore is someone who is economical with the truth!
    Hello Tom. We live in a neo-liberal world, leaving the EU is not going to change much.

  4. Tom Sacold

    The old social democratic EEC was destroyed by the Maastricht & Lisbon Treaties. The EU was created to further the interests of European multinational corporations by opening borders to cheap non-european labour to keep wage down.

  5. Tom Sacold

    The neoliberal pro-EU agenda has been supported by the Blairite Labour right and the Tories.

    The EU capitalist club will never allow radical socialist reform.

  6. Boffy

    The EU developed out of the “old social-democratic EEC”, which the nationalists who oppose the EU, today, also opposed back then. The fact that the EEC was created as a “social-democratic” institution shows that the idea that workers cannot fight for progressive social democracy within the EU is fundamentally flawed. It was the social-democratic elements of the EU that, for example, Thatcher objected to. It was the rise of conservative governments and ideologies at the level of the nation state, for example in Britain, that led to their transference to the EU, not vice versa. Look at the EU’s Draft Fifth Directive on Company Law, for example, established in the 1970’s, which is a piece of social-democratic ideology if ever there was one. It proposes an extension across the EU, of the principle of codetermination on large company boards, such as already exists in Germany, with 50% of the board being elected by the trades unions. It was opposition from conservative national politicians like Thatcher that saw such proposals shelved.

    The usual complaint from nationalists like yourself is that the EU does not have open borders, and so discriminates against non-EU workers. For myself, sa an international socialist I am all in favour of open borders, and free movement of labour both within the EU, and into the EU from elsewhere. Its not immigrant workers that cause low wages, but capitalism. Your nationalist rather than socialist politics are highlighted by your willingness to blame foreign workers rather than your own domestic capitalists.

    What makes you think that the British capitalist club would ever allow radical socialist reform other than your nationalism that leads you to identify with British capitalists rather than EU workers? If workers had ever had to rely on capitalists and their state “allowing” reforms, let alone radical socialist reforms, we would never even have established trades unions, or obtained the right to vote, and form our own political parties.

    We only get what we are prepared to fight for. You it seems see that fight as one you prefer to fight alongside British capitalists against foreign workers, where as a Marxist and international socialist I see the fundamental basis of winning such fights being breaking down national borders and the competition they erect between workers locked behind those borders, and thereby to fight alongside our fellow workers in Europe against capitalists whatever their nationality.

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