THE Labour conference in Brighton will be a moment of truth for the party.
Will the moment we abandon the manifesto commitments of 2017 that saw us have our biggest vote increase since 1945?
Or will we stick to the promise we made to honour the vote of the British people – including millions of Labour voters – to leave the EU?
We should have left by now. We were promised that we would.
But a half-hearted and incompetent strategy from Theresa May, alongside a well-funded, relentless campaign to undermine the referendum and the Government’s negotiating position, has left us still in the EU after three years of drift and doom-mongering.
Matters have been made worse by Speaker John Bercow’s bias, which has brought Parliament into disrepute.
But in response, Jeremy Corbyn is in danger of adopting a still more absurd and tragic position, urged by senior figures Emily Thornberry and John McDonnell.
‘OUT OF TOUCH WITH HISTORY’
To renegotiate a deal, to put it to yet another referendum, and then to campaign against that deal and in favour of remaining in the EU after all.
What a self-defeating proposition. To give credit to the EU negotiators, they have played hardball all along and used every trick to avoid concessions.
Imagine how they would negotiate if they knew that our Government would be committed to telling the public to reject that deal afterwards!
Unfortunately, this policy may become a reality. All too many activist delegates to Labour Conference are out of touch with the history and the values of the party, and do not respect traditional voters’ opposition to EU federalism and neoliberalism.
This is leading to anger and disillusionment in leave voting areas, which a majority of Labour MPs represent. Many decent, patriotic Labour voters feel alienated by the suggestion they were at best foolish to vote to Leave and should know better next time.
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Labour should take warning. Labour voters in seats we must win to take seize power may never dream of voting Conservative. BUT they now have a credible option.
The Brexit Party has a clear promise to follow through on the referendum vote. It includes left-wing MEPs and cannot be dismissed as simply UKIP mark II.
If Labour does not recognise this danger and recommit to our existing policy of honouring Brexit, its future may be bleak. Working-class people are not abandoning Labour. But Labour is abandoning them.
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