Keeping our eyes on the (Brexit) prize

European Commission building in Brussels

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay.

Stopping Brexit requires winning at least one vote in the House of Commons.

It may be more than one vote. There are many things that vote or those votes may be on: taking control of the order paper? no confidence motion? extend Article 50? revocation? and more. But at least one vote needs winning.

Which also means at least one, and most likely quite a lot more than one, Conservative or DUP Member of Parliament needs to be persuaded to rebel.

That’s the basic maths and that should be the basic starting point of any tactics to stop Brexit.

And that’s the problem with Jeremy Corbyn’s plan of ‘make me Prime Minister to have a general election about having a referendum on Brexit’.

It’s not only the tortuous sequence of events that his plan involves. Or that he has a decades-long record as a Euro-sceptic, took a holiday during the referendum campaign and had an office that Labour Remainers complained repeatedly undermined their campaign.

Swinson to Corbyn: let's prioritise stopping No Deal

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has written to Jeremy Corbyn ahead of a meeting between opposition leaders in order to ensure that no option is off the table to stop No Deal. more

It’s that if your starting point is ‘we must win over some Conservatives or DUP MPs’, following up with ‘and so our plan must involve making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister’ is blatantly counter-productive.

To win people over, you go for a plan that is as easy as possible for them to support, not one that is deliberately harder.

Imagine, for example, if MPs in other parties were trying to persuade the Liberal Democrats to back a set of constitutional reforms. Would insisting on having those fronted by, say, Nigel Farage make that persuasion easier or harder?

And so it is with Brexit. For Labour to insist it’ll only take action if Jeremy Corbyn gets to be Prime Minister is to elevate the importance of Buggins’ turn above the importance of stopping Brexit.

Just think of an EU citizen still facing huge uncertainty over where they can live and work. Or a patient facing disruption to their supply of life-saving medicines. Is the principle of Buggins’ turn really more important than securing their futures?

It isn’t. What matters is stopping Brexit, not prostrating ourselves at the feet of Buggins.

6 responses to “Keeping our eyes on the (Brexit) prize”

  1. Jeremy Corbyn is a closet Leaver. One who opposes No Deal, but a Leaver for all that. He is in no way qualified to lead a group of Remainers in Parliament of anywhere else.
    the only possible reason for making him prime minister is that he would be able to bring most recalcient Labour MPs with him, if only by the threat of expulsion.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with Marks assessment of Buggins turn, I think it’s safe to say Buggins is one vote remain will not get if, there is seen to be a majority for remain in parliament but not a majority for Buggins turn, Buggins will be most disgruntled that such an infamy could occur when, in his assessment Buggins is a statesman of such stature and gravitas as his oneness believes he is, to be cast aside by lesser mortals than himself. Indeed, I for one, am most impressed when, Buggins appears on TV. speaking about Brexit and, is asked by journo’s for his considered world view he, as all such statesmen of like mind, eg El. Presidente Maduro answers in a gravelly voice so that, all who admire him can say, ” this must be serious, our dear leader is speaking in a gravelly voice ” so, I can understand him being most affronted by parliamentary colleagues not willing to front him up as interim PM but, I can also understand his parliamentary colleagues wishing for someone to take such a role who have an IQ, far in excess of a far left Pleb. There, Buggins is the truth of the matter, perhaps with an interim government you could be Minister for protests, that’s about as far up the greasy pole you can realistically expect to get, after all, the cream always comes to the top, aka Jo Swinson, look and weep Buggins.

  3. The sad fact is that Brexit is more likely to happen than not. We need to make sure that we know what to say to people on the 1st November if it does.

    • Yes. We need to be able to say ‘we did everything we could’. We need voters to feel that ‘we did everything we could’. The worry is that perception has been dented. It is definitely the line of attack that has been taken. It strikes me that the whole thing is a stunt. If Corbyn was serious he would know to step aside to enable a government of national unity. If Corbyn was serious, he would have a plan for what do once he became premier.

  4. In general one has to agree, however I’m not so sure that your Farage analogy works here. If the price of securing genuine electoral reform was that the campaign for it should be fronted by that beer swilling frog mouthed blowhard, I’d be sorely tempted to go along with it. Ends justifying means, don’t you know?

  5. We need to negotiate as friends of the EU, making use of the goodwill our MEPs have, to allow UK to rejoin the EU after a referendum on existing terms or ‘demand better’. This should take place as early as possible in September so that if Bojo forces UK to leave EU with or without a deal by Oct 31, a Liberal Democrat led or supported government can call a referendum after a general election, to rejoin the EU without having to join the Euro or Schengen and without losing our veto or what remains of our rebate. We might even claw back some of our rebate that Labour gave away.

    We also need to campaign hard on other important issues during a general election. Jeremy Corbyn will be saying after leaving the EU that it is not such a big deal and talk about mitigating the effects on the poor of leaving. We need to ‘trump’ that approach.

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