We need to listen to our voters on Brexit

Sheila Gilmore says Brexit is a real issue on the doorsteps for Labour, and our voters need us to stop fudging the issue and start speaking up more clearly against the harm it will bring.


Out knocking on doors every week in the last few months, I am finding that Brexit is being brought up spontaneously more often than I expected.  And for every one person who is happy with Brexit happening, I would say there are three who are very concerned about the effect of it on our economy.

Certainly Edinburgh was a very Remain voting city, but it is the depth of feeling which is the surprise.  And knocking on doors as the Labour Party we are meeting some very real disappointment about Labour’s position.  Many want Labour to be speaking up clearly in favour of staying in the customs union and the single market, and in favour of the People’s Vote with an option to vote ‘remain’ against a poor deal.

We are meeting people who are regular Labour voters who are seriously considering whether they will continue to vote Labour if we go on as we are.

Of course this isn’t everyone.  Even in Edinburgh there were districts where the 2016 vote was 50:50, or even where Leave appeared to be just ahead. In Edinburgh Southern we have information from the referendum count which shows this. These, incidentally, were also areas with some of the highest SNP votes in 2015 and 2016.  Brexit cuts across traditional party divides, but at the moment it is not clear that we are pleasing anyone.

All studies of the 2017 general election say that Labour in many areas benefited from being seen as the party of Remain, just after Article 50 had been triggered and after Theresa May had made it clear that her government would be seeking a ‘hard’ Brexit. But eighteen months on, people are expecting us to speak up more clearly.  Conference showed that members want the leadership to take a much stronger position, to support single market membership, and to have a People’s Vote as an option, with the party campaigning in any such vote to remain in the EU.

Two and a half years on from the referendum the implications of Brexit are very much clearer than they appeared at the time.

Even if a general election is triggered soon, we cannot go into that election campaign still fudging our position.  Labour needs to start leading now, and that includes working to convince those who may have voted Leave why we sincerely believe it will be harmful.

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26 thoughts on “We need to listen to our voters on Brexit

  1. “Labour needs to start leading now, and that includes working to convince those who may have voted Leave why we sincerely believe it will be harmful.”

    Sheila looks like you have still got your fingers stuck in your ears and as part of the political class you didn’t listen to folk’s the first time around leading up to the Brexit Referendum who were saying on the doorstep that the EU is not the be all and end all, and it looks as if you are making the same mistake yet again, just because the electorate did not vote to remain in the EU as you one of the clever political class wanted them to so, you are now explaining that folk’s are all stupid and don’t know the reason why the voted to leave the EU that is typical of the political class we are clever you are all stupid and is patronising demeaning. All politicans are in an new era and the electorate will punish them all at the ballot box if they talk down to them and take them for fools.

  2. Sheila you are correct when you say Labour will have to make its position crystal clear at a general election we are coming out in March way before any vote .
    I voted remain I see nothing good in Brexit and because of that if Nicola ever gets round to even asking for Indy ref 2 I will vote for Indy .Ted is also correct people who voted leave in the EU ref knew what they were voting for .
    I spoke to one on the bus yesterday she voted leave because of Calais EU mismanagement as she sees it .
    I am desperate to see us stay in the EU .
    For me we get a hell of a lot out of being in the EU .
    The day after the result the Welsh FM was on TV pleading with the UK gov to maintain the funding Wales gets from the EU .
    I have no time for the farmers and fishermen now complaining they got a lot of EU funding yet funded and campaigned for Brexit so they got what they deserve.
    Those laws they want to change whats the betting its EU employment laws and how will we stop private healthcare companies moving into the NHS
    This is David Camerons fault he held a ref to see of UKIP worked because he lost the ref .
    You are correct about finding out what people actually think not what we want them to think and I bet they mentioned a lot more than Brexit .
    I know from experience EU nationals working in the NHS are worried sick about what happens after Brexit my medication and medical equipment all licensed from Portugal Australia etc to be made in Labs in England
    None of it in Scotland
    You are correct we have to listen to people don’t take them for granted I think all the parties will find that out

    1. David although l voted for Brexit I am of the opinion that it was more about control of migration rather than pulling up the drawbridge, and on that note I am so grateful to all the EU nationals currently working in the NHS and would be open up to recruiting additional EU nationals if need be as part of a controlled managed migration policy. It’s my view that post Brexit immigration should be devolved to the Scottish Government better still if there is an lndyRef2 that will not be necessary. Finally l would like to hear much more concern trumpeted from UK Politician’s as to the plight and stutus of UK nationals currently working and or residing in the other 27 EU Countries and in particular from the Labour Party UK who hardly ever mention them as they seem to have been forgotten.

  3. Thank you for your comment Ted
    You are correct the EU referendum never got passed immigration David Cameron when PM got us into this mess.
    Maybe someday we will hear an explanation as to why he did not see that coming .He in order to see of UKIP played politics with the future of every man woman and child in this country. By calling a ref he lost saw of UKIP and gave them what they wanted anyway Brexit .
    He then resigned and PM May and the rest of us got left with the mess .
    Alec Salmond said on his show hard to believe team Nigel had no plan for winning and why did they not see the Irish border problem coming.
    Nigel said to UKIP at the election we need to own immigration .
    Ch 4 news sometime ago had an interview with a British expat living in Spain who said what happens to her in March .
    The expression leave voters did not know what they voted for insults their intelligence they did not know the exact detail but they knew what they wanted and why .
    We are leaving in March I don’t think there will be a peoples vote but if we get indy ref 2 I will vote yes because of Brexit

    1. David thanks for your comments l think that Cameron did the right thing by honouring his manifesto commitment the mistake he made was not planning for a yes to Brexit vote and exiting stage left pronto and thus not managing the aftermath. I don’t think that anybody can hold Nigel responsible for what happens next after winning the Brexit Referendum he was and is not part of the UK government the onus is on the incumbent government to have made contingency plans and manage the process as smoothly as possible. As an obsever l would say that in the aftermath of Brexit in Scotland the Tories and Scottish Labour have both made a tactical blunder by not supporting that Scotland should remain in the EU as for the Tories flip flopping and Scottish Labour following their dictact coming from the Labour Party UK with no clear autonomous position in Scotland they will have lost a lot of support for this. The way Brexit is looking now it’s my view that we are looking at a no deal and a UK constitutional crisis and l expect that the the announcement for an IndyRef2 will be made probably sometime in December.

  4. Tnankyou for your comment Ted
    I asked and have been told the Scottish Labour party MSPS abstained in the Holyrood vote is because they would rather have a general election and the situation is very fluid .
    Nicola was attacked in the National by one of her own MSPS for going on Marr and committing the party to a peoples vote without consulting her MSPS or MPS the first they knew of it was when she went on the telly .
    The National was told she bounced them into it .
    As I write this I am watching the BBC Royal British Legion Service My Grandfather WW1 who died in 1961 never spoke about the war joined underage gassed twice wounded once My father WW2 did not really speak of it I found a photograph of him after he passed away me on my 18th birthday in uniform in Alexandria
    I am 63 and not afraid to say I was sitting crying for both of them .
    So folks on Remembrance Sunday take a minute to think

  5. This made me look
    WW2 the legal age to serve overseas was 20 then from 27 September 1942 16 with parental consent .Youngest to die in the British services Reginald Hamilton Earnshaw known as Reggie 1927 to 6 July 1941 .
    Under enemy fire on the SS North Devon off the coast of Norfolk 6th July 1941
    WW1 legal age to serve overseas was 19 .

  6. Checked again Reginald lied about his age to join the Merchant Navy was buried at sea
    Spare a thought for all of them including the German boys

    1. David I agree with you we should all take a minute to remember all who died in wars on Remembrance Sunday may they rest in peace.

  7. Oh dear oh dear what’s going on with Jeremy Corbyns front bench l refer to the car crash Emily Thornberry interview on the Andrew Marr show today, l want to get rid of the Tories at the next general election and am sorry to say that the mish mash and confusion on the Labour Party UK position was a disaster. Also the Emily Thornberry alluded that she had talks about Brexit negotiations with high sources in the EU and that they would allow the fantasy deal she was negotiating and when pressed by Marr she was found wanting in other words she was let’s not say to be kind lying but definitely bluffing. Marr asked Emily Thornberry that as a shadow government in waiting had the shadow government had any connection with the White House in preparation for winning a general election and she was clueless asked if she had any contact with her opposite number in the White House Mike Pompeii yet again clueless. If Labour is to make any progress in a general election then it’s my view that they need to replace Emily Thornberry as soon as possible.

  8. Thank you for your comment Ted
    I deliberately did not watch Marr I did not think a political programme should have been shown on Remembrance Sunday .
    All 3 main parties are in trouble with Brexit .An SNP MSP accused in the press Nicola of bouncing them without consulting her MSPS or MPS when she appeared on Marr to say they would back a peoples vote .
    Jeremy went of message got corrected by Emily Thornbury and Starmer .
    Today there is talk of a Brexit Deal Boris and William Rees Mogg have taken to the Telly to accuse the Government of running up a white Flag the DUP appear to have joined in as well.

    1. David I think that Brexit is showing the the Tories have mismanaged the whole Brexit negotiations l think that they will get punished at the next general election for that. Sorry to say that the Labour Party UK have missed an open goal by having contradictory messages coming from Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn on the bright side I think that Barry Gardiner has been a star l would like to see him as a potential Labour Party UK leader. As for the SNP on Brexit a slight hiccup from Nicola Sturgeon over a people’s vote otherwise their policy and message is crystal clear on single market and custom union.

  9. Thankyou for your comment Ted SNP say they are voting down Brexit .Peter Bone MP threatened the PM at PMQS We will see if Labour a lot of them from Leave voting constituencies and I respect that vote it down .
    Or split but above all don’t abstain .I want them to vote Brexit down .
    I note they are all falling over themselves to comment on something they all claim they have not seen haha.
    Bernard Ponsonby is on STV now saying David Mundell has seen the agreement he might have no option but to resign if the deal does not deliver what he said it would .
    He also said Ruth Davidson if David Mundell has to go so will she .That cabinet meeting started at 2pm as I write this at 615pm still ongoing .
    STV say resignation rumours rife and if PM cant get it through the commons PM is gone to .
    They also say if she pulls this off by getting a bill through the commons she will be untouchable

  10. This morning I got a call said they were Microsoft my computer not switched on was receiving illegal messages without my consent .
    The technical services dept would help Tech dept told me someone overseas without my knowledge was using my computer .
    So I hung up dialled 1471 got the number Dialled 1572 and put it to junk mail .
    I then using my mobile dialled the number and got a very surprized OAP in England definitely not Microsoft I told her I was returning a call Microsoft was supposed to have made from her number I told her I was going to phone BT and apologized and told her to do the same.
    BT said this is normal I said but they have used a genuine number without the womans consent .
    How does this not appear on the phone bill and could they be using my number without my consent .And is this not illegal .
    BT answer its all illegal their computers identify real numbers the scammers then using that number phone you it does not appear on any bills as another number is hidden behind it.
    I use call protect and phone preference not call blocker as I receive calls from doctors hospitals etc and I am afraid they wont get through.
    I phoned the lady back told her what BT said she gets plagued by Microsoft as well I told her what BT said never engage in conversion never give out financial info I told her to call BT

    1. David in my opinion if you have any missed calls on your phone or mobile phone do not bother ringing them back if it’s a genuine call then whoever rang you in the first place will call you back, if you do decide to ring back an unknown number you are more than likely to be the victim of a premium number scam and get stung for mucho roubles and will not be a happy bunny, so don’t let your curiosity get the best of you as you may regret it and don’t bother ringing back missed calls and unknown numbers.

  11. STV news And CH4 news said meeting still going on after 6 hrs they are saying if Brexiteers don’t like deal PMS own party will table a no confidence motion in their own PM tomorrow .
    Richard Leonard from what I quickly saw has said Scotland must get the same deal as Ireland

  12. Well PM came out spoke said nothing really DUP making it clear they don’t like this .
    Ministers staying quiet so game on.

  13. Watched Slavery Scotlands shame a Scottish Soldier and WW1 secret shame.
    Slavery Scotland has hidden from our part in it Ships built here Scots crews 1 third of so called ships surgeons Scottish Mansions built on Slave money all over the country .
    A Scottish Soldier vilified for his colour and casual every day racial slurs when he was working in the shipyards after ww1. At the end there was a brief reference to a 1919 Glasgow race riot .
    I looked it up due to high unemployment Black Asian Chinese and others were attacked at a recruiting yard for the merchant navy by white seamen fearful of their jobs .
    They were beaten in the street and their boarding house they were arrested by police trying to keep control .
    There were riots in other ports across the UK White Seamen attacking blacks 5 dead dozens injured you will find it in the 1919 port riots .
    WW1 secret shame dealt with shell shock from ww1 until the Gulf war and the troubles in Ireland .
    I did not know that 2 of the most famous ww1 films I have seen the soldier in a shirt walking with great difficulty and a man on crutches before and after treatment for shellshock we are not told what are seen walking with no help were fake they were filmed for propaganda purposes in 1917.
    The passion of David Hayward in Scotlands Shame and Dan Snow in WW1 secret shame shines through for me its TV at its best and it makes us think.

  14. Thank you for your comment Ted I looked at your link
    I wander how many of those Countries and Companies and the descendants of the people who sold their own into Slavery. Would like to be reminded of it and it needs to be dealt with perhaps by the UN .
    And definitely taught in Schools.

  15. Well Brexit
    Nicola said on TV last night when the PMS office Contacted her office to arrange a briefing after the Brexit Cabinet meeting . she quite rightly asked to have an input on Scotlands behalf before the meeting .That was not acceptable
    Found this in todays Times
    Esther McVey according to sources was aggressive she demanded a vote during the meeting to force each minister to commit definitely one way or the other to the Brexit draft deal .
    She caused a massive row she was put in her place by Julian Smith Chief Whip and Sir Mark Sedwill the new Cabinet Secretary who raised his voice and read the Cabinet Manual to her to remind her of Cabinet responsibility .
    9 Cabinet ministers 1 third of the Cabinet expressed reservations .Esther McVey Work and Pensions Dominic Raab Brexit Andrea Leadsom Leader of the Commons .Geoffrey Cox the Attorney General Penny Mordaunt International Development Michael Gove Environment Jeremy Hunt Foreign Secretary Sajid Javid Home Secretary Baroness Evans leader of the Lords
    John Macdonnel just told CH4 News Labour will oppose as Labour are looking to protect jobs

  16. Esther McVey quit this morning but not before she sent me a PIP review notice .which I got 1 hr after she went .
    Then Dominic Raab Brexit Secretary Resigned could not support a deal he must have negotiated .
    Then William Rees Mogg on CH4 news last night had not handed in a letter then this morning did it .Then David Mundell calls Dominic Raab a carpet bagger for resigning .
    Then gets told by one of his own MPS to do the same .
    The Downing Street Cat seemed to be the only one who knew what to do last night

  17. Forgot to say
    Trump who did not like what Macron said when he saw it on the Telly tweeted
    France would be speaking German now if USA had not bailed France out in 2 world wars .That’s him told

  18. Just spotted the Health Secretary told the room in a no Brexit deal he could not guarantee people wont die

  19. Watched a documentary on Saudi Arabia When the Princes were locked up in the Hotel .Large scale torture was used .1 had to be taken to hospital this was embarrassing so a field Hospital was moved into the hotel I high ranking military officer died of a broken neck .
    A fortune was spent and threats made to keep staff quiet .

  20. It seems that the Scottish Tories are at war Ross Thompson calls on David Mundell to resign from the cabinet over the Brexit deal things are moving fast.

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