The Labour Party conference has kicked off this weekend, and one of the things that will be discussed is the possibility of bringing the idea of a 'people’s vote' on Brexit into official party policy.
But with Brexit at such a critical stage, would it be wise for the party to adopt a policy that has been the centre of the Liberal Democrats, whose support has fallen drastically since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016?
Theresa May’s government has been an absolute shambles over Brexit and the Conservatives have torn themselves apart over the issue. Should Labour officially adopt a people’s vote as Labour Party policy?
Arguments for and against The main argument for a people’s vote is that the vote in 2016 was a farce from both sides, the now proven lies told by the Vote Leave and Leave.EU campaigns alongside the fines received by the Leave.EU campaign after the Electoral Commission found them in breach of spending regulations during the EU referendum.
Furthermore, during the negotiations, Theresa May and her government have been constantly at each other’s throats with a multitude of plans being pushed from different factions within the party, causing her to continually pander to often the more extreme elements of the party.
However, the main argument against the people’s vote is that the public voted the first time and the government should be working to find the best solution for the country but continued infighting and a lack of progress is causing more issues than there would’ve been. The other element is that many people call another vote ‘undemocratic’, although this fail to consider that we live in a very undemocratic system in the first place.
The symptom of a dying system There have been multiple arguments made by a varying number of people, but the idea of the people’s vote fails to consider an important element, that Brexit is the symptom of a dying system. If you speak to most leave voters, you get a mix of those who didn’t know what they were voting for, racists, but mostly people voted for Brexit as a protest vote against the system itself.
For decades the governments have consistently lied to public and trust in politicians is at an all time low, since Thatcher, the wealth has been slowly removed from the public and filtered into big business and financial institutions.
Since 2008, the public have been told that austerity is necessary to get the country back on track, yet those who caused the crash in the first place have doubled their wealth.
The Conservative government will use leaving the EU as an excuse to push austerity onto the public but also will find an excuse to continue it if by some chance that the UK remains as part of the EU.
Labour should not adopt the people’s vote policy, they have already been clear and set out 6 tests for Brexit: Emily Thornberry confirmed recently that if the government continue their current path that they will not vote through the final deal. Importantly, if Labour stick to their guns on this then they could seriously push for another general election a lot sooner.