Monday, 21 October 2019

What the actual Hell?

Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:
Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever means we get that referendum. 
The spirit of this is clear. We offered this to Theresa May. We said: we don’t think your deal is very good but if it’s up against the safeguard of being able to remain then we will allow it to proceed in that way.” 
He added: “The position we have adopted is whatever the outcome, whether it’s Boris Johnson’s bad deal or a better one which could be secured, it has got to go to a referendum up against remain.”
Backing a referendum amendment is common sense.  Backing the whole bill is stupid.

It was stupid when Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was talking about it and it is stupid now when Starmer is talking about it. Even if it is just a ploy, a bait-and-switch, it will encourage rebels - "You were considering backing it, so you can't blame us for just taking it a step further."

And after all the rhetoric about the deal in the last few days either Labour look like liars if they are now willing to back a deal they'd described as so awful, or they look untrustworthy and cynical for saying it was so bad and then voting for it.

Of course, a referendum might result in Remain winning, and the whole sorry episode being brought to a close starting over again. But that's not a risk I am comfortable taking. I'd rather have Remain run off against Soft Brexit because - guess what - everyone was confident the British public would more likely than not reject Brexit back in 2016. They didn't.

Also, Labour voting for the deal makes it harder for them to then campaign against it. "You're tellig us to stay in the EU, Jeremy? But you voted for the deal."

Vote for the amendment and vote against the deal.

The only acceptable explanation to me is they are waiting for the EU to grant an extension, before coming out against the bill.

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