‘It’s a fudge’ - Labour conference reacts to Brexit motion

PUBLISHED: 11:54 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:04 24 September 2018

People protest against Brexit during the Labour party's annual conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

People protest against Brexit during the Labour party's annual conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

There is growing anger among Remainers at Labour conference after the party’s latest Brexit fudge.

Instead of getting a vote on whether to back a People’s Vote delegates will instead get a say on “keeping all options on the table”.

The motion – agreed after a lengthy meeting on Monday evening – was met with annoyance by those in the party who want the people to have another say on Brexit.

But the mood soon turned angry when shadow chancellor John McDonnell echoed the words of Unite boss Len McCluskey by saying any People’s Vote should not include an option to remain in the European Union.

Outside the arena in Liverpool where Labour is meeting, protesters – who are planning on picketing the conference all week – said the party had pulled off a “fudge”.

Malcolm Brown at Labour Party conference. (Photograph: Richard Porritt)Malcolm Brown at Labour Party conference. (Photograph: Richard Porritt)

Malcolm Brown, who was proudly waving an EU flag, said: “I was disappointed when I heard the motion but after hearing what John McDonnell has said I am angry – and I think Labour voters and members will be too.

“They say they want a general election – but Brexit is far bigger than that. We get a vote every five years but Brexit is a one off. And it is going to be so damaging. The people deserve another say now that some of the lies that were told during the campaign have been revealed.

“Sadly all Labour have achieved is a fudge.”

Fellow protester Evelyn Leslie added: “I know people who have always voted Labour who won’t if they don’t come out against Brexit. Labour is losing voters. It is fine for them to say they want a general election but would they even win it? And if they didn’t where would we be then?”

People protest against Brexit during the Labour party's annual conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA WirePeople protest against Brexit during the Labour party's annual conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A Labour source involved in the composite negotiations said: “If a general election cannot be secured, the motions keeps all options on the table but rules out all options other than a People’s Vote.

They added: “The leadership can say all they want but the Labour membership is clear – Brexit is a disaster that needs to be stopped.”

The Brexit debate and vote will take place on Tuesday.

People protest against Brexit during the Labour party's annual conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA WirePeople protest against Brexit during the Labour party's annual conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

MORE: McDonnell says a People’s Vote is an option - but it wouldn’t include option to Remain

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