Leader’s Update: 07/10/2019

With every twist and turn of the Brexit crisis, it never fails to surprise. Today we learn that our Prime Minister’s declaration that he would rather “die in a ditch” than abide by the law and request an extension from the EU, was all hot air. Court papers released today confirm it is his intention to send the letter which he was adamant he would not deliver in the event he fails to reach a deal with the EU.

It’s further evidence that we really cannot believe a word Boris Johnson says.

Johnson claims his proposed alternative to the Irish backstop is a genuine effort to secure a “deal” with the EU.

 

It is such a bad proposal that it has found no favour with anyone but the hard Brexiteers in Johnson’s own party and the DUP. The “two border, four year” Johnson proposal is not only unworkable, it fundamentally undermines the Good Friday Agreement. Many of us believe it is no more than a con – designed deliberately to fail and shift the “blame” on to the EU.

 

The Independent Group for Change has been at the heart of exposing Johnson’s plan for what it is, with both Anna Soubry and Chris Leslie questioning and challenging Boris Johnson in Parliament.

 

One of the advantages of being a political party is that we not only play a full part in cross-party talks and meetings trying to resolve the Brexit crisis and see off a “no deal” Brexit, we hold the Government to account in Parliament, and we consistently make the case for a confirmatory referendum (a People’s Vote).

 

Our Prime Minister is mired in scandal having been found to have acted unlawfully in proroguing Parliament and then guilty of lacking any decency in dismissing death threats as “humbug”. He told MPs the way to stay safe is to “deliver” Brexit. Just a few months ago Rory Stewart was a loyal Government Minister (he voted three times for Theresa May’s Brexit “deal”) and he served at the highest level before going on to stand for leader of the Conservative Party. Rory has now left the Tories and will stand against them in next year’s London Mayoral race. His departure yet again shows the grip the hard right now has on the Conservative Party.

 

All of the above has somewhat shifted the spotlight from the dreadful state of the Labour Party. Two more trigger ballots were announced this week – and it was no coincidence that both targets are Jewish women (Margaret Hodge and Louise Ellman). There is no hiding from the deep divisions that blight the Labour Party. Having failed, in effect, to abolish Tom Watson at their recent conference, Labour fudged its Brexit position to a farcical level, even stitching up important votes. A Labour Government would apparently beaver away at negotiating some new Brexit deal and then have a “conference” to decide whether to back their hard work or choose to support Remain in a referendum they have pledged to hold.

 

Whilst we understand the itch of some to have a General Election we are in no doubt it will not solve Brexit. Equally, we understand why some want to simply revoke Brexit but we remain firmly of the view that the only truly democratic solution is a People’s Vote.

 

We just need to hold our nerve and refuse to rise to Boris Johnson’s goading.

Best wishes,

The Independent Group for Change