Brighton Kemptown’s Labour left MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle spoke to us about the fight against Johnson’s regime. Some of what he said was slightly out of date by the time we published – our fault. Things are moving fast!
Fifty MPs have signed the letter stating quite clearly that we will refuse to leave the chamber or will set up an alternative parliament in the event of Parliament being prorogued and an attempt to force through a No Deal Brexit.
At the moment it is very clear that there are still parliamentary options open to us. This week we can push for new legislation that can prevent a No Deal Brexit. There will be a few days after that where a no confidence vote in the government could be held. And it is possible of course that a general election could be called.
We will only support a general election on certain terms. A general election on Boris Johnson’s terms could facilitate No Deal and we cannot accept that.
If these parliamentary options are exhausted and the democratically elected parliament is denied the ability to block No Deal, which nobody voted for and would be an absolute disaster, then we are very serious. We will either sit in Parliament, refuse to leave and carry on parliamentary business; or we will form an alternative parliament.
The reason that 200 MPs from different parties signed the Church House declaration is that this is where parliament sat for a period during World War Two and after the war. In fact, this is where much of the Clement Attlee legislation was passed. So there is a precedent for parliament sitting somewhere else – either at Church House or across from the Palace of Westminster at Westminster Central Hall, which is where the United Nations first met for example.
So all options are being talked about and seriously explored by MPs. In the event that MPs do refuse to leave the chamber I hope that the public will mobilise and block routes to parliament, to prevent the police from removing us. I hope that people will take to the streets and will form a movement to get this government out.
It is important that this happens, not just to show anger and to put pressure on the Government, but also to encourage Europe to act and do all that they can to prevent Britain leaving without a deal.
Labour Party members and socialists should focus on both the dangers of No Deal, but we also need to talk a lot more about what we can achieve with a socialist Labour government – working in concert with our sister parties across Europe and in the European Parliament. Working like this we can really make an impact on stopping austerity, rebuilding our public services and tackling the gap in wealth and power between the very rich and the rest of society.
This must be about a people’s parliament versus an undemocratic government. It is not just about stopping Brexit. We have to use this as a tool to unite and bring along Leavers along with Remainers. 30pc of leave voters oppose the proroguing of parliament and oppose a No Deal Brexit.
This is how Boris Johnson intends to govern and it is profoundly undemocratic. We have a much better, more positive vision for running the country.
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