Labour conference was a big win for a People’s Vote and the party’s moderates
- Credit: PA
The Labour conference saw a struggle in the party over backing for a People's Vote. Be under no illusions – we won it, says RICHARD ANGELL, director of Progress, Labour's centre-left movement.
Policy-making at Labour conference is a bit like the EU. Months of build-up, a myriad of different positions, posturing from all sides, consolidated in a six-hour meeting through the night in a windowless room for everyone to emerge in the early hours to give their own briefings.
Finally, there is open debate and a clear decision – taken in the best interests of all: backing for a People's Vote to solve the problem of Brexit.
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago the leadership of Momentum stitched up their own delegates and denied the Labour conference a debate on the biggest issue facing the country.
Furious that the priority for the hard left leadership was on saving Jeremy Corbyn's blushes, not stopping a Tory hard Brexit, members from across the party worked to get a vote at this year's conference. Progress launched the LabourSay.EU campaign and this week we won.
You may also want to watch:
To everyone's surprise, John McDonnell had spent the year working against party members having their say and this week he brandished his Leave-leaning credentials, indicating that the party was reluctant to have a People's Vote and insinuating that Remain would not be on the ballot even if one did take place.
That could not be further from the truth.
- 1 Boris Johnson warned majority will be 'wiped out' over treatment towards north of England
- 2 Boris Johnson 'frantically repositioning' himself for Donald Trump to lose election
- 3 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 4 James Cleverly mocked after telling people to 'look at how they're doing in Wales'
- 5 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 6 Minister says Dido Harding is working '19-hours a day' on Test and Trace
- 7 Third Tory MP who rejected extending free school meals is targeted with local protests
- 8 Second shop owner bans Tory MPs who voted against free school meals motion
- 9 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 10 Piers Morgan calls Boris Johnson a 'blustering buffoon' in attack on PM's handling of Covid-19 pandemic
The spontaneous standing ovation for Keir Starmer's slapdown of McDonnell's muddying of the water and his own clear message – if there is no general election Labour will campaign for a People's Vote with a Remain option on the ballot – showed the unity of the Labour movement behind a public vote on Brexit.
The subsequent vote among delegates underlined it. Together Labour can stop the Tory hard Brexit.
Now conference is over and the matter resolved, this must be the party's focus. In Liverpool, delegates hardwired fighting Brexit into the Labour movement.
We believe a no-deal is not good for Britain; Theresa May's motion is not good for Britain; a single market is the only Brexit that has a chance of delivering for working people.
We know that Jacob Rees-Mogg will never let the prime minister bring home this Norway-style deal – so Labour must vote down the deal.
If we win, this government will not just have failed in Labour and Remainer eyes but in the eyes of the country. The remaining authority of this government will have evaporated.
Britain needs a general election to change the government and renegotiate a new relationship with Europe.
However, if no general election can come to pass, Labour said 'all options on the table' including a People's Vote.
The reality is, with all other options ruled out, a People's Vote is the table. And it is the very thing that could turn the tables on the Tories and Brexit.
Richard Angell is the director of Progress, Labour's centre-left movement
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.