Party conferences and the elephant in the room

After the Party conferences, it is time to reflect on what really happened. And where we go from here.

The LibDems, the Greens and SNP support remaining in the EU. But the two biggest parties are in crisis over Brexit.  Labour responds by denial, stifling any meaningful debate; the Tories by doing what they do best – stabbing each other in the back.

Negotiations appear to be grinding to a halt thanks to the amateurism of David Davis and the failure of the May government to realise that meaningful negotiations depend on meaningful proposals. So far the UK has little to offer in its dealings with the 27 other EU states since the cabinet can’t agree on anything of substance. Instead it falls back on the bland claim that it is “seeking the best deal for Britain” (well, one would hope so!). Meanwhile, another key issue in British politics – the need for, and consequences, of austerity – blights all our lives.

Many Tories actively conspire to bring about the failure of the EU negotiations. They seem to want to see the UK economy driven off a cliff so that they can create the UK equivalent of the Trump offer: a low tax, low regulation economy that benefits no-one but the rich.

For their part, the Corbynistas claim that the EU is a capitalist plot. Yet it is the EU – not the UK government – that has done most to promote workers’ and consumers’ rights and environmental protection – all of which are Labour demands. Those who know the EU say that the Labour party’s social programme, set out in its 2017 General Election manifesto, can be delivered within EU rules.  Mr Corbyn should understand that, if he is elected, Brexit will consume the parliamentary time he needs to introduce his programme – and that Brexit itself will leave the UK so much poorer that he won’t have the resources to pay for it. And, if he really wants to win the next election, he should remember that most Labour voters are Remainers – particularly his new, young followers

The trumpet call of the elephant in the room must be heeded: UK voters must stand up and make their voices heard. Brexit is a disaster coming at us fast. It must be resisted. And the way to do this is to pile the pressure on our local MPs and MEPs. Tell them: enough is enough – we don’t want to impoverish ourselves.

This is our call to MPs and MEPs:

  • The people should be allowed to vote on the deal with the EU – if one can be negotiated – with the status quo as an option
  • And, if negotiations break down, Parliament must step in and let the people decide if we want to stay in the EU

Don’t wait for your children and grandchildren to ask why you did nothing to safeguard their futures. Act now!

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