Labour’s new Brexit policy: ‘Remain’, or ‘Remain but with no vote’

Brexit Facts4EU.Org reveals what Labour’s manifesto ACTUALLY SAYS

    

Credits: Screengrab BBC / © Labour Party

The definitive summary of the Labour Party’s latest position on Remain/Leave

Numerous surveys over the last three years have shown that few people have had any real understanding of Labour’s various positions on Brexit.

On Thursday the Labour Party launched its manifesto for the general election on 12 December 2019. Focusing purely on Brexit, we have tried to strip out the majority of the political slogans and value judgements to bring readers the key facts about Labour’s latest Brexit/Remain policy – IN THEIR OWN WORDS.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The key points of Labour’s manifesto on Remain/Brexit

  • Negotiate a new deal with the EU within 90 days of taking office
  • This will require yet another extension from the EU of the Article 50 period - the FOURTH since 29 Mar 2019
  • ‘No deal’ is completely rejected – even as a negotiating position
  • New ‘deal’ will include a permanent Customs Union and Single Market provisions
  • Free movement to continue
  • Funding EU agencies to continue
  • Maintaining level playing field on all EU legislation
  • There will be a Transition Period of undefined length
  • Second Referendum to be held within 120 days of taking office
  • Options to be Remain or New Deal – no Leave option will be presented to voters

Key passages from the Brexit section of Labour’s manifesto

Note: We have removed most of the value judgements and sloganeering, to provide a shortened, easy-to-read version. Readers can read the full version here.

“Labour will give the people the final say on Brexit. Within three months of coming to power, a Labour government will secure a sensible deal. And within six months, we will put that deal to a public vote alongside the option to remain. A Labour government will implement whatever the people decide.

“Only a Labour government will put this decision in the hands of the people to give you the final say. This will be a legally binding referendum and we will implement the people’s decision immediately.”

“Labour rules out a no-deal Brexit, and we will end… no-deal preparations. No deal has never been a viable option… Labour has led the campaign to stop a no-deal Brexit.”

“We will rip up the deeply flawed deal negotiated by Boris Johnson…. Labour will secure a new Brexit deal… Our deal… will include:”

  • “A permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union”
  • “Close alignment with the Single Market“
  • “Dynamic alignment on workers’ rights, consumer rights and environmental protections so that UK standards keep pace across Europe as a minimum”
  • “Continued participation in EU agencies and funding programmes”
  • Clear commitments on future security arrangements, including access to the European Arrest Warrant and shared databases”

“Labour will secure a revised Withdrawal Agreement that provides legal protection for citizens’ rights… and ensures an appropriate transition period...”

“We will also secure robust and legally binding protections for workers’ rights, consumer standards and environmental protections, and ensure level-playing field protections are maintained.”

“Once we have secured this new deal we will put it to a legally binding referendum alongside the option of remaining in the EU. This will take place within the first six months of a Labour government.”

“Only Labour will offer the choice of remaining in the EU, or leaving with a sensible deal.”

“This final say referendum will not be a re-run of 2016. It will be legally binding. Labour will implement the decision of the British people immediately.”

“We will introduce a Withdrawal Agreement and Referendum Bill, providing the legal basis to conduct and implement the outcome of the referendum. We will scrap the Brexit legislation currently proposed by the Tories and introduce new legislation that is in line with Labour’s priorities and principles.”

Labour recognises the huge benefits of immigration to our country. Many British citizens have benefited from freedom of movement.”

“We will end the uncertainty created by the EU Settlement Scheme by granting EU nationals the automatic right to continue living and working in the UK. This new declaratory system will allow EU nationals the chance to register for proof of status if they wish, but will mean they no longer have to apply to continue living and working in this country.”

“If people decide to leave, a Labour government will work constructively with the EU on vital issues of mutual interest and to the mutual benefit of the UK and EU. But we will leave the EU.

“Most importantly, under a Labour government, you will get the final say on Brexit.”

- Labour manifesto on Brexit/Remain for the general election on 12 Dec 2019, published 21 Nov 2019

Observations

In a nutshell, Labour’s ‘Brexit’ policy is as follows:-

  1. Remain
  2. Remain, but with no vote

We simply do not understand why the Conservative, Brexit, and UKIP parties have not pointed this out in very strong terms. Under a Labour government a second referendum will take place within 120 days, without even a Leave option on the ballot paper.

Labour rejects Mr Johnson’s ‘Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration’ because it does not keep the UK aligned strongly enough in the EU. Any renegotiation with the EU by a Labour government should in fact be easy, because Labour only want to deliver almost everything associated with full EU membership, but without having any vote on anything the EU decides. The EU will lap it up.

The deliberate vagueness of politicians

Even reading the Labour Party’s policies on Remain/Brexit several times, a reader is hard-pushed to find any hard facts about their position. Our assessment is based on the words used in the document, together with the numerous statements from the vast majority of the shadow cabinet over recent months.

Does the Labour manifesto explicitly and categorically state that the UK would remain in the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market if the people voted for this new ‘Brexit deal’ in six months’ time? No.

Does it imply it in every way? Yes. And the statements from all the senior members of the shadow cabinet back this up.

Some things are clear. Freedom of movement will remain. And the UK will follow the rules and laws on business and everyday life which the EU Commission and Court of Justice decree.

Mr Corbyn’s new stance on Brexit is best described as “neutered”, not “neutral”

Finally, in the BBC election debate on Friday evening, Jeremy Corbyn declared his position in the event of a Labour-held second referendum. He will be “neutral”, he says. We would more accurately describe his position as “neutered”.

In the Sunday Telegraph today, the veteran and respected Labour MP Kate Hoey was interviewed.

“Well, the Labour Party has left me,” she sighs. “Labour simply does not have a credible policy on leaving the EU.”

“I know Jeremy is genuinely anti-EU, always has been. We’ve walked through the same lobby for decades, voting against Maastricht etc, but he’s not been strong enough. He had a Parliamentary party that was stuffed with Remainers. They knew they couldn’t get rid of him as leader so they’ve used the EU issue to get at him. Jeremy’s allowed himself to be completely stitched up, particularly by John McDonnell.”

Wise old bird, that Hoey woman, and as straight as they come.

Ms Hoey, Parliament will be the poorer without you and we will all miss you.

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[ Sources: Labour Party Manifesto | Kate Hoey interview in the Telegraph ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sun 24 Nov 2019

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