Labour must not allow itself to become the Remainers’ sacrificial lamb

Labour must not allow itself to become the Remainers’ sacrificial lamb

The second referendum campaign headed by figures such as Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry is nothing more than a direct threat to our democracy and it must be defeated. These individuals and supporters of this campaign declare that they are respecting the outcome of the referendum and that they only want a vote on the final deal. Why, then, are the second referendum campaign calling for Remain to be an option on the ballot? This does not respect the 2016 vote.

The truth is these individuals and their supporters have never accepted the outcome of the referendum. They would have only accepted the outcome had they won. Since 23rd June 2016, when the people voted to Leave, elements of our political class have openly conspired to destroy their vote and undermine our democracy. This is the first time in modern British politics that our leaders have so wantonly and directly sought to challenge our democracy and its processes.

If we accept the premise that the decision of the British people to leave the European Union is accepted, then Remain should not feature on any ballot paper. If it were to feature, then it would be seeking to overturn the original result, which is something the second referendum campaign claims it is not trying to do. This week, Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite, suggested that if a future referendum were to be held then Remain ought not to be on the ballot paper.

The purpose of the Labour Party is to unite our country behind a broad set of values that advance the decency and condition of ordinary people. Remain campaigners are so fanatical in their attempts to overturn the biggest democratic event in our country’s history that they are prepared to use our Labour Party to bring about more political and social divisions at a time when politics is already so polarised. We in Labour must not stand by and allow Remainers to sacrifice the Labour Party on the altar of those who lost the EU referendum. Labour is for the nation, for the many and not the few.

There is no democratic mandate for a second referendum. Neither the Conservative nor Labour Party manifestos respectively last year contained any pledge to hold a second referendum. In actual fact, eighty percent of those who voted in the last general election voted for parties committed to a clean Brexit. To force the British people to vote again in a referendum when they have already voted to Leave and voted to endorse Brexit in the general election would be a true shame on our system. Labour cannot be Remain’s sacrificial lamb.

It is conceivable that by the end of this week Labour will be mandated by a tiny portion of its membership to oppose Brexit and to support a second referendum. It is possible that an unholy alliance with Remain-backing Conservative  MPs could stop Brexit in Parliament and force a second referendum. It is also possible that Labour could bring down the Government. While all this would achieve what Remainers want, something else would also occur: the destruction of the Labour Party.

Delegates at the Labour Conference need to think long and hard about they way they vote this week. History and the British people will not forgive our movement if we are the ones who declare ourselves against the will of the people. We would face the political abyss – not because of a mighty Conservative Party; not because of a falling membership; not because of a lack of radical policy with mass support; but we would have destroyed ourselves because we permitted a minority of the few to rule the many.