Martin Whitfield MP has joined a large group of parliamentary colleagues to demand that Labour use its Euro-elections manifesto to pledge a public vote on whatever Brexit deal is agreed by parliament..
The 89 MP and MEPs, which includes shadow ministers and Labour’s leader in Europe, Richard Corbett, have written to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), ahead of a crucial meeting on Tuesday.
Martin Whitfield MP said:
“A substantial number of Labour MPs, councillors and members are fully behind the need for any Brexit deal to be subject to a confirmatory public vote. Given the deadlock in parliament and the confusion and frustration on both sides of the argument outwith Westminster, this is the only fair and democratic way to reach a resolution.”
The 75 MPs and 14 MEPs, campaigning with the ‘Love Socialism Hate Brexit’ group, state in their letter: “Our members need to feel supported on doorsteps by a clear manifesto that marks us out as the only viable alternative to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
“We need a message of hope and solidarity, and we need to campaign for it without caveats. To motivate our supporters, and to do the right thing by our members and our policy, a clear commitment to a confirmatory public vote on any Brexit deal must be part of our European election manifesto.”
The full letter reads:
We wrote to Jeremy Corbyn in early April with the support of 84 Labour MPs regarding our negotiating position with Theresa May. Now, as MPs campaigning for a Labour victory in the European elections, we are writing to the whole of the NEC.
This year’s European elections will not be any ordinary European elections. The world is watching, and Labour must be ready to rise to the challenge. We must run a dynamic, energetic campaign around a radical manifesto to transform Europe and a clear position on Brexit.
With the Tories in chaos and the pro-Brexit parties split, Labour has a clear opportunity to win these elections. Because of Labour’s radical politics, we are by far the biggest socialist party in Europe. A strong Labour performance will make the difference between getting a socialist European Commission President and a right wing one.
This isn’t just about winning the momentum in UK politics. The future of our continent is at stake, along with the fight against climate change, and the rights and lives of millions of migrants and workers.
These elections are about the kind of Europe we want to live in, and we can’t make a convincing case in them without being clear about Brexit. Labour has already, rightly, backed a confirmatory public vote. The overwhelming majority of our members and voters support this, and it is the democratically established policy of the party. Our members need to feel supported on doorsteps by a clear manifesto that marks us out as the only viable alternative to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
We need a message of hope and solidarity, and we need to campaign for it without caveats. To motivate our supporters, and to do the right thing by our members and our policy, a clear commitment to a confirmatory public vote on any Brexit deal must be part of our European election manifesto. We understand the many different pressures and views within our movement, but without this clear commitment, we fear that our electoral coalition could fall apart.
We look forward to delivering an unprecedented European election campaign with you on the doorstep.