What should the Labour Party's policy on Brexit be?

As the clock ticks inexorably towards 29 March 2019, nobody right now has the faintest idea what's going to happen on that day. The Labour Party wants to be in charge of proceedings, and currently hopes to be so by means of a Motion of No Confidence in the Government.

But what's it going to do if it wins that motion and any prospective general election? If it wants us the people of the UK to vote for it in such an election, what do we think it should do with that mandate?

Should the Labour Party simply press ahead with implementing the result of the 2016 referendum as soon as is practical come what may? Or should it shelve the matter of leaving the EU entirely, whether for the foreseeable future, or to pause the process in order to give the country opportunity to reflect and return to the matter in the future? Should it instead put the matter to the people again in a third referendum?

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Cancel entirely or pause for the foreseeable future the idea of leaving

It's clearly not possible to implement properly in the timescale

simon gray - 2018-12-20 / 10:08:10 - Login or register to respond

There isn't even a form of leaving the EU which the people who want to leave it can unite behind themselves, let alone one all the people of the four nations of the UK can unite behind. Until that can be determined and negotiated with the rest of the EU the project should be put on ice, and further attempts made to address the grievances which led to the Leave victory in the first place.

Press ahead with leaving on 29 March or as soon as possible after

The People voted to Leave

simon gray - 2018-12-20 / 10:11:52 - Login or register to respond

A Labour government should press ahead with implementing the will of the UK population as expressed in the 2016 referendum. If that requires seeking an extension to the Article 50 process then so be it.

Press ahead with leaving on 29 March or as soon as possible after - The problem is...

Karl Gibbs - 2018-12-20 / 13:42:05 - Login or register to respond

No one knows what the will of the people is.
Leavers sneer at other leavers as traitors for not following their idea of Brexit. So it becomes impossible to fulfil the will of the people because whatever you do will upset the remainers and a large proportion of the leavers too.

Put the matter to a third referendum and abide by that result

The People should be allowed to change their mind, or confirm they haven't changed their mind

simon gray - 2018-12-20 / 10:17:26 - Login or register to respond

There's plenty that can be said about the conduct of the 2016 campaign, but even taking that aside nobody voted for the situation we're currently in, whether they voted Leave or Remain. The only democratically legitimate option now is to put the question to the people again with the benefit of the knowledge we have now.

Put the matter to a third referendum and abide by that result - Probably the only realistic option

Karl Gibbs - 2018-12-20 / 14:09:28 - Login or register to respond

We currently have four factions to try and balance but this could be 5 if Labour had power.
As Sir Kier Starmer let out yesterday, he has been travelling backwards and forwards to Brussells over the last couple of years to ensure that if Labour had the chance they would be ready with a solution that could approximate to their 6 tests. He is confident that he has an in principle deal that he knows the EU would back. So if they have power, a quick bit of diplomacy to see if it could be worked into a proposal and then a referendum.
So we could have up to 5 options to consider and my preference would be to put them all to the vote and to choose the one that gets the most votes but that it has to win by 15% or there would be a head to head between the two leading options.

We can assume that, with demographics of new voters coming in and older voters dying there is a split of about 50-50% in the voting intentions even if no-one changed their vote.

So Option 1: Remain in EU
have all the advanatges we had pre 2016 and continue as a member of the worlds most powerful bloc with most favoured status sharing and amplifying our sovereignty.

Option 2: Whatever Labour could put together (probably nothing)

Option 3: 'Norway +' - if it is at all possible, bearing in mind EFTA members would need to accept the UK in and have indicated it would be unlikely. Also that we would continue to pay into the EU and would have to be part of the Schengen Area as well as accepting the 4 freedoms. Seems like a bit of 'Reverse Cake' deal to me but if it is possible, stick it on the ballot

Option 4: Theresa May's 'Reverse Cake +' We thought we were going to get all the advantages of being in without any of the disadvantages (Cake) but by skilled negotiation our G0vernment has managed to
lock in the disadvantages and diminish the advantages until such time as we can convince the EU that we are not threatening to bring in customs differentials that would require the reinstatment of a hard border on the island of Ireland. We could try this for a few years and as long as we saw how bloody daft it was before the transition period was over could recind article 50 and go back to our early 2016 status, the same goes for options 2 and 3)

Option 5: Hard Brexit
The one where we isolate ourselves from our closest and largest trading partners and renege on our financial commitments at the same time almost certainly reneging on the UN peace treay on Northern Ireland. We could then trade some goods on WTO procedures, which are onerous and would make us uncompetitive in many markets (both tariff and non-tariff reasons) ans we go around the world trying to negotiate trade deals having just proven ourselves entirely untrustworthy as far as the UN and not welching on our financial commitments is concerned.

So how would the factions break.
Remainers (50% have an obvious vote)
as do Hard Brexiters (probably 15-20%)
Cake Brexiters (probably 20-25%) would probably split across options 1, (3), 4 and 5
Antiestablishment leavers (say 10%) would probably split evenly across all the options.

So result in
Remain approx 60% of vote
Hard Brexit 25%
Reverse Cake (2, 3 & 4) Brexit 15%

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