Winter Brexit Thread: Our DiScontent



Even if the General Election turns out to be a blip, this is such a bizarre misreading of Scottish politics.


Thought I’d c+p this entire thing from the guardian because it just kind of illustrates how fucking mental the various stakes and machinations are right now

In the comments rscnrscn asks this. It’s a fair question and merits a reply.

User avatar for rscnrscn|40x40

11 January 2019 10:50am

Can I plead ignorance and ask someone to please answer a burning question I have:

If (as expected) Jeremy Corbyn does not come out in favour of a People’s Vote, what is the likelihood of a vote being put before the house by another party or Labour backbencher and of this commanding enough support in the house in order to achieve a majority?

Essentially, I am asking that in the event Corbyn does not give his personal backing, is there still a chance of a People’s Vote happening?


The Lib Dems have already tabled two amendments to the Brexit deal motion being put to a vote next Tuesday calling for a people’s vote. One is an amendment to the Labour amendment, and another is an amendment to the motion in its own right.

We don’t know yet whether they will be put to a vote.

One possibility is that the Lib Dems might withdraw them (ie, choose voluntarily not to put them to a vote if given the chance). The People’s Vote campaign want them to do that. That’s because People’s Vote don’t want the vote on this issue to take place until Labour is committed to whipping its MPs in favour, and they fear that if the vote happens on Tuesday, and the second referendum option gets defeated (perhaps by a large majority), then the campaign will lose momentum. People’s Vote would like to see a vote on a no confidence motion soon, because if the government were to win that, then at that point Jeremy Corbyn would come under pressure to formally back a second referendum.

Another possibility is that the Lib Dem amendments won’t get called anyway.

But if there is no vote on a second referendum next week, then it is quite likely we will get one soon, following the vote which means MPs would have to debate ‘plan B’ options by Monday week.

If there is a vote in the Commons before MPs have voted on a no confidence motion (which could conceivably trigger a general election - Corbyn’s preferred option), then I expect Labour to order its MPs to abstain. That is what happened when there was a vote on a second referendum amendment to the EU withdrawal bill in December 2017. Only nine Labour MPs rebelled, and backed the amendment, and it was defeated by 319 votes to 23.

If there were a vote now, then I would expect dozens of Labour MPs to defy a whip to abstain and to vote in favour, and perhaps a dozen or more Tories. But even with the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Caroline Lucas also voting for a second referendum, I can’t see the People’s Vote camp having any chance of winning, or even coming close, without Labour whipping its MPs in favour. There is much more support for the idea now than there was in December 2017, but MPs do not rebel against the party whip lightly, and it is important to remember than many MPs in the party - remainers as well as the relatively small number of leavers - have deep reservations about a second referendum.

(It is also worth pointing out that some in Labour claim that, even if the party did whip its MPs in favour, there is no guarantee a second referendum motion would pass because a large number of Labour MPs opposed to a second referendum would abstain, or vote against.)

Even if MPs were to pass a motion calling for a second referendum, it would still not happen without legislation. And for that to happen you would need a government willing to draft a bill, allow time for it to be debated, and whip its MPs to vote for it. Personally, I find it almost impossible to imagine Theresa May, or any other Conservative leader, doing all of that. I also find it almost fairly hard imagine Corbyn going through that process too, although if the Labour party membership had him in an armlock, in those circumstances it could happen. At least he leads a party that wants a second referendum. But only around 10% of Conservative members support the idea, according to one survey, which is why it is such a remote possibility.


Even if MPs were to pass a motion calling for a second referendum, it would still not happen without legislation. And for that to happen you would need a government willing to draft a bill, allow time for it to be debated, and whip its MPs to vote for it. Personally, I find it almost impossible to imagine Theresa May, or any other Conservative leader, doing all of that.

This is where I cannot fathom why the Lib Dems in particular and separately to a lesser extent the People’s Vote groups have taken the strategy they have. This isn’t a case like taxation where you’re looking to win the argument in the long term, this is a case of having to force the government to change policy or getting Tories/DUP MPs to vote their government down. Sure, the Lib Dems get to play to their constituency of 8% of the country, but it’s pure posturing rather than acting like the “serious party of government” that they want to be perceived as.


This actually sums up for me why second referendum is probably one of the least feasible options right now.


Vote fails, May resigns, hard brexiteer takes over and leads britain to complete ruin.


You think Labour will win the next election as well then?

(Just a joke gang)




Hard brexiteer is what we currently have anyway


Plus, the polls show they’re not exactly winning the argument, no matter how much they shout on Twitter and how many opinion columns in the Guardian and the Independent call for one.

Incidentally I was googling to see the Indy’s coverage of PV and found this, which has probably the most awful no-shit-Sherlock headline (not the one in the preview)


Eleven per cent might not look like a big number. But considered in terms of the number of actual people it might represent, it racks up to about 1.7 million and growing. That’s a very big number.

I’m sorry all this science has blinded me.


This is good


2nd vote will not happen tbh


I’m resigned to one of two things:

  1. Somehow a shitty deal Brexit gets through. May clings on. Tories stay in power. Things are shit. EU still gets the blame.

  2. May steps down, hard brexiteer takes over, general election happens. Labour lose. Tories stay in power. Things are shit. EU gets the blame.


Which is to say, yeah, it doesn’t feel like a second vote is a possibility.


if either tories or labour got elected on a policy of 2nd vote i could understand holding one, but holding one without the electorate giving it the OK strikes me as a) a non-starter and b) really dodgy from a political standpoint.

it’s been 3 years of the same arguments going in circles, i think most people are just beyond bored with it all now.


this, basically

There’s a great scene in James Graham’s 2017 play Labour of Love, which centres on a Nottingham Labour MP and his constituency agent, played in its original production by Tamsin Greig. At the end of another long day pounding the streets, trying to show voters how her party can improve their lives, she says wistfully: “What a glorious peace, it must be, to be on the Right. To wake up every morning and look around and think – yeah, this is pretty much how it should be.” The same is true over the EU vote: working-class Brexiters could equally think, “It must be glorious being a remainer …”


Incredibly tepid take, retweeted by the lexit supporing MLA who lost his seat in Derry because of his views on brexit. Ffs



And this is such an unfortunate situation. I’m firmly in the LME these days and can’t pretend otherwise, but still in touch with plenty of people where I grew up, in a very working class part of South Wales, and loads of them are remainers. So it’s once again entirely down to the only voices in the media being upper middle class privately educated city folk. Frustrating as hell.


Wow that certainly is a take. Yes those things did happen when in the EU but not caused by being in it. But they will get much worse out of the EU how can some people not grasp that.


yep, and afaik only like 40% of people support a people’s vote/2nd ref anyway (unless my stats are out of date). the whole thing is a stalemate, and all the op-eds and liberal think tanks in the UK can’t change that.

i’m tired of how much oxygen it has sucked out of the room. the tories can either bite the bullet, do the right thing, and cancel it, or they can push on and force some kind of mess through the wrangler, but a 2nd vote would be absolutely unbearable for everyone.