Labour’s strategy on Brexit involves more negotiations on Brexit after winning a General election, to secure a more acceptable Deal than May’s- which is a Brexit solution with the option of a referendum only on the terms of the Deal. Cancelling Brexit is certainly not what Corbyn appears to have on the agenda .
The immediate problem for this month, if May’s Deal is rejected on the 15th, is that more negotiations and even more a General Election can only happen if the March 29th deadline is pushed back. As the deadline is legally binding by statute, this means a law change – and is the reason May believes that when push comes to shove MPs will vote for her Deal. The hard liner Brexiteers at least get the UK out of the European Union.g –
She may be wrong, but so far few MPs seem to realise the alternative to the May Deal is a No Deal outcome. Outside the ranks of the Hard Line Brexiteers no one wants this, but without a change in the law that is what happens if her deal is defeated. To give more options the Deadline has to be pushed back, and so far only Geraint Davies’s private members bill offers that as a resolution.
Certainly Labour’s current line is impossible to achieve without this. Triggering a snap election with the Fixed Term Parliament Bill in place is not an easy option, as Dave Lammy said at the Anti Brexit Rally at Labour conference, the Tory MPs are unlikely to vote for an Election. If they and the DUP do, then Labour has to win the election and then negotiate a new deal and push it through parliament – all in two and a half months – offering a Lexit – a left wing Brexit – programe. Winning an election on that basis is not going to be a foregone conclusion, for as the latest polls show Remain voters will leave Labour on a grand scale, while Leavers will not flood into the ballot boxes to vote Labour to replace them.
Even if the Fixed Term Parliament Act could be negotiated the priority has to be tackling the March 29th Deadline as the Leave Deadline has to be pushed back via a change in the law just to allow the Labour Party and others some room to operate.
The short term strategy has to be to forget a General Election and focus on extending the Leave Deadline beyond March 29th. If that can be achieved, then there are options. It is time to look at what Geraint Davies has put forward in his Summary of the European Union (revocation of Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 and take that as the line of advance.
Trevor Fisher 10 1 19