Labour must reject Theresa May’s Brexit strategy

mark-lazarowiczMark Lazarowicz says that Labour should set out clear red lines on the Article 50 vote on Brexit, and if the Conservative government fails to agree to them then we must vote against triggering the UK’s exit from the EU.

 

Over the last few days there has been a lot of uncertainty over what the Labour Party position will be when Parliament votes on whether, and how, the UK government should begin the process of leaving the EU. That lack of clarity obviously reflects deep differences in approach within the leadership and the wider parliamentary party.

It shouldn’t be like this. The decision that will need to be taken (unless the Supreme Court surprises everyone by saying that the government doesn’t need Parliamentary approval to start the ‘Article 50’ process) is one of the most important that the UK has ever faced. Now that the Conservative government has at last made clear its Brexit objectives, Labour must come up with a coherent – and democratic socialist – response if we are to have any credibility as a serious opposition party.

And we should leave no doubt that Theresa May’s approach is one that we must reject in its entirety. If Labour has ‘red lines’ which it has said the government must not cross, but the government then breaches them, then Labour must vote against those plans. Making a fuss, but then at the end of the day voting to trigger Article 50 in such a way as to allow the government to negotiate as it wants, would make Labour look absurd.

My view is that given the narrow majority in the advisory referendum, and the way in which it becomes clearer every day that Brexit was sold on a false prospectus, the UK should not start the Article 50 process but seek to negotiate further changes in the EU to reflect those concerns. I suspect most other EU states would welcome that.

But if Labour is prepared to vote to start the Article 50 process, then it should seek to amend the government’s proposals to make it clear that it is only authorised to negotiate with the EU on the basis of the UK staying in the single market, and keeping the progressive EU-wide policies on issues such as environmental protection, and workers’ and social rights. It ought to be possible to achieve a Parliamentary majority for that, from Labour, SNP, LibDem, smaller parties and some pro-EU Tories. If such an amendment is lost, then Labour should vote against giving the government the go ahead to start the Article 50 process.

To give the government the freedom to pursue its vision of the UK as an offshore tax haven would be a total betrayal of Labour’s values, principles, and history. It would also likely to be electoral suicide. Hardly any votes would be won back from UKIP or anti-European Tories, but millions more voters in England would be likely to move to the LibDems or the Greens, and in Scotland, a few more votes would be lost to the SNP. We should not need to be discussing whether Jeremy Corbyn would be allowing a free vote on the issue; what we want is Jeremy Corbyn is to be making it clear that Labour will vote against giving the go-ahead to the Tory Brexit plans.

 

Mark is on Twitter at @marklazarowicz.

Related Posts

25 thoughts on “Labour must reject Theresa May’s Brexit strategy

  1. Mark, you are a one-eyed man in the country of the blind—except you will never be King! Labour wanting a King who is blind but also blindfolded.
    Scottish Labour, and Labour down south havent got a Scooby. They are too involved in attacking the SNP or feart to front up against the Tories, or petrified about UKIP to actually have a serious policy, or any kind of policy, on Brexit.
    In Scotland they are only interested in preventing the electorate from having a constitutional voice, and don’t seem to give a damn about the serious economic consequences Brexit will bring. In England they leaving the high ground to a Lib Dumb party which was on the ropes and redundant only a few months ago.
    This chicken-hearted and lemming-like behaviour will doom Labour forever, and deservedly so!

  2. Labour have already set out their Brexit stall for all to see. They are telling Scotland to shut up and eat our cereal as far as Brexit is concerned. Telling us to accept the Tory negotiated Brexit when it arrives.
    Teresa May has made it as plain as day that “Brexit means Brexit” and we are all heading for the exit door from the EU.
    The EU has made it equally plain that the Brexit will be hard and final.
    Labours position is to head through that door with the rest of the UK.
    Labour wont accept Scotlands ONLY alternative to remain in the EU because they are a UK party run from London for London.
    What other positon will Labour in Scotland take that differs from Labour rUK? NONE! They cant take a different position.
    Jeremy Corbyn has told Scotland to go along with Brexit in order to gain new Devolved powers. These will be the same powers Labour refused to devolve when they had the power to do so and has refused to argue for and support when in opposition.

    Labour continuous to show and PROVE they don’t run their party for the benefit of the people of Scotland they run it as a Mafia dressing itself up as a political party.

    Mark you still serve the wrong party and I bet you already know that. Time to move on and stick to your principles rather than your career.

  3. The reason Mark Lazarowicz is no longer a politician is because he does not understand basic democratic principles. Exhibit 1 “My view is that given the narrow majority in the advisory referendum………………..,”.
    I always find it amusing when the self appointed elite think they can ignore the electorate. This article is an example.
    For Mr Lazarowicz’s benefit let me explain how the process works. Like minded citizens form a political party. That party prepares a manifesto of things it thinks the electorate want to happen. Every 5 years an election is held and the electorate vote for the party whose manifesto is closest to their beliefs. The party with the most votes is elected to govern and as a consequence implement its policies.
    That is where we are. A political party that does not understand these basic rules will be seen as a political party that cannot be trusted. These events should be familiar to Mr Lazarowicz but I suspect he doesn’t have a clue what I am talking about.

    1. I suspect Mr Lazarowicz would not be the only one not to have a clue what you’re talking about.

    2. Strangely enough, what polling evidence we have tends to show that 60 odd per cent of Labour voters voted ‘Remain’. That would seem, to me, to be the democratic imperative here. Do you represent what your voters want? Labour are about to make the same mistake as regards Brexit, in England, as it did as regards independence, in Scotland. It is going to dither, sit on the fence and, in the end, probably take up a position which is profoundly unpopular with a lot of its core voters.

      Its a situation where decisiveness is required. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to get any with a party which is hopelessly split and has a group of political incompetents in charge. What you will get will be a loss of support to other parties with much clearer positions on Brexit. Your more xenophobic (and they are xenophobic) ‘Blue’ Labour types will gravitate towards the Tories, or more likely, UKIP and a lot of your pro-EU supporters will drift off to the LibDems, Greens or SNP. That’s where Lazarowicz is right and you haven’t a clue.

      A snap poll, from Stoke, reported on air, this morning, gives Paul Nuttall a massive lead in voting intentions in the by-election.

  4. They should, but they won’t. Corbyn has already made clear Labours position on Article 50. As usual they’ll take the path of least resistance & roll over for the Tories & their media attack dogs. This isn’t an attack on Corbyn, abstaining because you haven’t got the courage to oppose was a Labour trait long before he took over.

  5. Good to see some in Labour not kowtowing to “the will off the people” who lets face it are not entirely sure what we voted for or against with Brexit. I believe current leadership making huge blunder in supporting article 50 in an effort to chase their lost base.

  6. Mark Lazarowicz,

    Golden rule. You don’t respect people who don’t respect democracy.

    Millions of Labour Party supporters (including myself) voted to leave the EU.

    If you fought half as hard fighting the SNP; as you have trying to overturn the EU referendum result, you would be Scottish Labour’s top campaigner.

    Mark, it really is high time that you did the right thing and respected the EU referendum result.

    The British people have spoken. They have voted to take our beloved United Kingdom out of the European Union.

    Face the facts Mark; it’s over.

    We’re leaving the European Union.

    1. If Mark still has the sense he was born with, he will abandon the narrow nationalist separatism of the Brexiteers and join those of us who want Scotland to be an INTERNATIONALIST country.
      Trump and May…………Will either still be in office in two years time? Boris waits…………. expectantly.

    2. The EU result in Scotland was to remain. Why cant you respect that result? Or are you another “Scot” who believes Scotland is a Region and not a Country?

      1. The SNP position on the EU referendum is a joke. If they were truly interested in more power being invested upon the Scottish people they would want out of the EU.

        The SNP are “plastic” nationalists.

        Everyone and there dog knows that Sturgeon does not have the power to call another independence referendum.

        Nevertheless, sycophantic nationalist toadies like Brian Taylor of BBC SNP Scotland, to their everlasting shame, continue to peddle the lie that she has.

        So…….here are the facts.

        In 2014 Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.

        In 2016 we voted as the UK whether to remain in, or leave the EU.

        It was a UK wide vote, every vote stacked and every vote counted.

        How Scotland voted made not one shred of difference.

        1. What powers have the EU removed from Scotland Andy?

          “Everyone and there dog knows that Sturgeon does not have the power to call another independence referendum.”

          “In 2014 Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.”

          Voted within a referendum the Scottish Government didn’t have the power to call? Is that right Andy?
          Is this the same referendum the UK Government won the mandate and intention to call? or was it the Scottish Government who had the mandate and intention?

          The only joke is people like you Andy. You object to Scotland being an equal Independent Nation State within the largest open trade market Union of equal Nation states in the world but fully embrace the idea of Scotland being an annexed region within a tiny unbalanced union of unequals totally dominated in every possible way by a single larger Nation in ONLY population terms.

          I think even Labour members are embarrassed by people like you affiliating yourself with their mafia sorry party.

          “How Scotland voted made not one shred of difference.”

          And in your mind that’s not only acceptable its desirable.

          Are you Scots born Andy?

          1. Mike, we all had a vote.

            In a referendum one side wins and the other loses. You might not like the result, but if you take part in the process, you should accept the result.

            There is a real growing problem with people not accepting democratic results.

            Too many Scottish nationalists did not accept the 2014 independence referendum result.

            Too many Labour Party MP’s did not accept Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory in 2015.

            Too many Europhiles have not accepted the 2016 EU referendum result.

            And far too many people have not accepted that Donald Trump has been elected US President.

            Whether you like the result or not, you had best accept democratic results. If you don’t; you’re going down a dangerous road: A road that leads to anarchy, dictatorship and fascism.

            “Are you Scots born Andy?”

            Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

            Mike you’re in danger of morphing from a hyper-Nat into a full blown fascist.

            Take my advice Mike; get a grip of yourself, before it’s too late.

    3. Andy,
      You would have thought the Labour Party would have learned a lesson from the Scottish referendum, that when it comes to constitutional matters, party members and supporters will, quite rightly, hold different opinions and that the best position for The Party to take is to acknowledge these differences and remain neutral.
      One of the funniest things I have seen in a long time was watching Jeremy Corbyn, a life long EU sceptic clamber at the very last minute into the Remain camp only to find once he had got there that he had been on the right side all along. Brilliant, although Nicola and her contortions over indyref2 comes a close second.

      1. What contortions? The Scottish Governments position has been the ONLY consistent position since the vote result was declared.
        The only evidence I’m seeing of contortions is from the Conservatives and Labour members of Parliament and their hangers on.
        Your post for example is a real contortion of the truth. As usual.

        1. Richard,

          Jeremy Corbyn is a fraud.

          He stuck with his CND “principles” because he knew they would get much support from the Labour Party membership.

          He ditched his Eurosceptic “principles” because he knew they would get little support from the Labour Party membership.

          In saying that, Owen Smith would have been an even worse leader. Smith is a total stranger to democracy.

          Sturgeon and her SNP followers are “plastic” nationalists.

          Plenty of the SNP crew voted to leave the EU, I don’t agree with Jim Sillars, but at least he is a proper nationalist.

          The current SNP is full of imposters, charlatans and ex “labour” people seeking a new troff to stick their heads into.

          1. Andy,
            It is a remarkable situation we have got ourselves into in Scotland. Devolution invented by Labour to head off the nationalists’ challenge produces a SNP majority and a referendum. A No vote in our referendum that the Labour Party won but in so doing destroyed itself. A huge swing of support after the referendum to the party that lost it has lead to the farcical situation we find ourselves in where a nationalist government at Holyrood is being used very effectively by a Tory government at Westminster to administer long and ever more severe cost cutting austerity in Scotland. And now Brexit.
            You could not make it up.

          2. Mike,
            Can you not see the contradiction of reasoning in this statement,
            “………..we all accepted it what we didn’t accept was the fact that it wasn’t a mandate to give up trying to convince No voters they got it wrong.”
            If you accept the result, and No won then they cannot be wrong.

          3. I presume those seeking to stick their heads in the trough would need o be elected, so who are these people? The people ho have joined are ordinary members, and even worse for you, voters. Your pathological bitterness is affecting your judgement.

        2. The contortion is her constant threats of a second referendum that she knows she cannot win and now it seems Theresa May calling her bluff.
          NC and the nationalists’ last hope was for Scotland to vote Remain and England to vote Leave on 23/06/16; for Scotland to be dragged out of EU against its wishes. The double came up. But now it seems Scotland has no appetite for another referendum and if it were called the unionists would win again. That is the position Nicola Sturgeon finds herself. I see it as contorted.

    4. So you think Labour’s “top campaign” is “fighting the SNP”? How sad. You’re no longer the party of Home Rule?

  7. “Mike, we all had a vote.”

    Who is all? 16 to 18s didn’t get to vote neither did citizens of the EU residing and working in the UK.

    “In a referendum one side wins and the other loses. You might not like the result, but if you take part in the process, you should accept the result.
    There is a real growing problem with people not accepting democratic results.”

    Agreed. But does that mean you give up your principles? your ideology? your desire to convince people to change their minds?
    People change their minds all the time Andy would you hold everybody to a decision they made one day for the rest of their lives? You think that’s democratic?

    “Too many Scottish nationalists did not accept the 2014 independence referendum result.”

    Not true we all accepted it what we didn’t accept was the fact that it wasn’t a mandate to give up trying to convince No voters they got it wrong.

    “Too many Labour Party MP’s did not accept Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory in 2015.”

    Yes they did but like supporters of Scottish Independence they cant change their spots. Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the Labour party and the fight for Scottish Independence continues. Those are facts nobody disagrees with.
    “Too many Europhiles have not accepted the 2016 EU referendum result.”

    Yes we have. See above.
    “And far too many people have not accepted that Donald Trump has been elected US President.”
    Yes we have see above.

    Whether you like the result or not, you had best accept democratic results. If you don’t; you’re going down a dangerous road: A road that leads to anarchy, dictatorship and fascism.
    Those who haven’t accepted the results of the past decisions are now at war killing and maiming their opponents. Oh wait no they actually aint they seem to be living and working under the decisions taken instead.
    “Are you Scots born Andy?”
    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
    Mike you’re in danger of morphing from a hyper-Nat into a full blown fascist.”

    Its a simple question Andy not a trick to put you on a list of undesirables for deportation or execution.

    Take my advice Mike; get a grip of yourself, before it’s too late.

    Good advice to anybody Andy but you’re clearly not the person to be giving it.

  8. Andy MacMillan wrote: “How Scotland voted made not one shred of difference”.

    That’s the problem Andy. That’s the democratic deficit. How Scotland votes under the UK “makes not one shred of difference”.

    In the GEs of 1979, 83, 87 and 92 Scotland could have voted 100% Labour (and effectively did) but we would still have had a Tory govt. In 1997, 2001 and 2005 Scotland could have voted 100% Tory but we would still have had a Labour govt. And in 2010 and 2015 Scotland could have voted 100% Labour and it would have made absolutely no difference to the outcome. As I said, that’s the problem. Scotland has no say in who ultimately governs it (Westminster can wipe away Holyrood at the stroke of a pen, as the recent Supreme Court ruling proved) or in its own destiny (as the EU referendum proved).

    You appear to believe this is all a great thing. Perhaps you believe Scots are being saved from themselves; that, if left to our own devices, we would inevitably screw everything up. I, on the other hand, believe Scots are every bit as capable of governing themselves successfully as any of the other small, independent W.European countries that surround us. Its a pity you don’t appear to share that belief. A very great pity.

    Never-the-less, I reserve the right to campaign for what I believe to be in the best interests of my country. People like yourself wont dissuade me by limiting democracy to suit their own views.

  9. “If you accept the result, and No won then they cannot be wrong.”

    This is a blatant piece of trolling. Trying to shit stir because you have no argument no point of view you’re capable of convincing anybody of.

    Doesn’t take long to reduce people like you to this level of puerile pish at all.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: