John McDonnell has said that a 2nd referendum on Brexit “might be an option we seize upon” but only after attempting to force a General Election. The Shadow Chancellor, who previously said any referendum on Brexit should not include remain, stated that Labour could back a 2nd referendum and Remain should be on the ballot but No Deal should not.
“We can’t have no deal on the ballot paper, there’s an overwhelming majority in parliament against that happening, because of the damage.”
The Shadow Chancellor also said he would vote Remain in the event of a 2nd referendum.
McDonnell had previously worried Labour members by stating a 2nd referendum should be “a vote on the deal itself” and Remain should not be an option but today reversed this position.
At their annual conference, Labour members voted overwhelmingly to approve a motion that stated: “If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.”
McDonnell echoed that policy in his comments saying: “If we can’t get a general election, people’s vote is on the table and that might be an option we seize upon,”
McDonnell said he recently met prominent figures in for the People’s Vote campaign.
The Shadow Chancellor said he expected May to lose the first vote and present a deal with little divergence to her original that he predicted would fail as well.
Regarding a Vote of no confidence, the Shadow Chancellor said
“All through that, we will be calling for a general election whether and when we put a vote of no confidence down will be a tactical decision. We’ll want a maximum effect.”
He said Labour would also offer their own versions of the deal. Nicola Sturgeon is hoping to rally support around a Norway+ deal, which is being promoted by the Conservative backbencher Nick Boles and supported by many other backbenchers, but the Labour frontbench see this as unacceptable as it would not fulfil the referendum result as would mean no change to EU’s lawmaking ability in the UK without British representation in the European Parliament.
Analysis from Editor in Chief- Iwan Doherty
McDonnel is spot on about No Deal and a People’s vote. It cannot be on the ballot. The No Deal option is an ideological goal of those who support the Hardest of Hard Brexit, its side effect for the rest of us is an economic recession.
This is not an option that can be put on a nationwide poll, the average Brit does not understand macroeconomics and will not be able to comprehend the effect of increased tariffs and trade restrictions with our main trading partners, factor in the lies and disinformation that would be spread by proponents of No Deal and you have a disaster waiting to happen. Support for a No Deal is greater than May’s deal, which frankly is terrifying but not surprising for a public sick of experts.
Want to know another name for a public sick of experts? An uninformed electorate.
The Leave campaign showed last time that lying in a confident and loud voice is an effective tool for changing the minds of the British public, there is a reason the nation’s macroeconomic policy is left to elected representatives, and these representatives should narrow the options to reasonable deals.
It’s May’s Deal or Remain, those are the rational options.