NEC statement and two motions on Brexit going to Labour conference

The following motions on Brexit are going to Labour Party conference this afternoon, Monday 23 September: a statement from the National Executive Committee (passed 16-10 by email vote) arguing Labour should decide its position in a referendum after a general election and two motions put together by CLPs in compositing. The first is a clear Remain motion and the second supports the leadership without stating a clear position.

For all documents for Labour conference, see here.

NEC Statement

The NEC welcomes Labour’s commitment to let the people decide Brexit.

Labour will put control of Brexit back in the hands of the people in a new referendum with a real choice between a sensible leave deal or remain.

The NEC further welcomes the role of the Labour Party in Parliament to work cross-party to legislate against crashing out on 31 October. There is no mandate for No Deal.

After three years of shambolic Tory negotiations and parliamentary deadlock, a Labour government will get Brexit sorted one way or another within six months of coming to power, allowing us to concentrate on all the issues that matter to people most.

A Labour Government would secure a sensible leave deal with the EU within three months, and within six months would put it before the people in a referendum alongside the option to remain.

Jeremy Corbyn is right to say that as a Labour prime minister he would implement the will of the British people in that referendum.

The NEC notes that the Labour frontbench has consulted with industry, trade unions and EU leaders and officials on a deal that protects jobs and investment, while respecting the 2016 referendum result.

Labour’s leave deal would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of 3 million EU nationals in the UK and 1 million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

If people vote to leave on those terms, Labour will deliver that and leave the EU with that negotiated deal. If people vote to remain, Labour would implement that and seek to reform the EU as members. A Labour government will deliver whichever decision is
made by the people of the UK.

The NEC believes it is right that the party shall only decide how to campaign in such a referendum – through a one-day special conference, following the election of a Labour Government.

Motion 13

Mover: Tooting CLP
Seconder: Labour Party Irish Society

The real division in society is not between those who voted Leave and Remain but between the many and the few. Brexit is poisoning politics and stopping us from addressing the issues that matter to people. We need a general election to deliver a radical Labour Government.

The Conservative Party and the Brexit Party are determined to rip the UK out of the EU on October 31, deal or no deal. Their agenda is part of a right-wing nationalist
exploitation of global economic and social crisis.

Investment in the UK has plummeted. Manufacturing orders are down to their lowest since the financial crisis a decade ago. The cost of living is already higher than in 2016. Public services are threatened. Working people are already paying the price for the Tories’ Brexit failure.

The Tories want to undermine our rights and living standards. They are desperate to create a low tax, low regulation, low rights economy which will benefit the richest 1%.

The Tories’ plans for Brexit threatens jobs, workers’ rights, migrants, the NHS, public services, and the environment, and makes it harder to deliver a radical manifesto.

If Britain leaves the EU, Brexit does not end. We face years of negotiations and neoliberal trade deals.

All economic assessments show that the best deal we have is our current deal as a member of the EU.

If we were to leave, the so-called backstop is a vital insurance policy ensuring no hard border in Ireland unless and until the principles of the Good Friday Agreement are provided for in any future UK-EU relationship.

The only way to resolve Brexit is through a confirmatory referendum with an option to remain in the EU, against a credible Leave Option, and calls upon the PLP to propose or support any motion in Parliament for this.

Labour must reflect the overwhelming view of its members and voters, who want to stay in the EU. Labour will therefore campaign energetically for a public vote and to stay in the EU in that referendum, while recognising the rights of those members who want to argue another view.

Labour will show solidarity with the people of Northern Ireland and protect the Good Friday Agreement by opposing any Brexit deal and make campaigning to remain in the EU a manifesto commitment.

In government, Labour will challenge the narratives of the right, by addressing the reasons people voted Leave. We will attack poverty, insecurity and inequality; rebuild communities with public investment and ownership; boost wages and union rights; combat the climate crisis. We will defend free movement and extend migrant’s rights

Labour will build cross-border alliances to transform Europe with socialist policies, starting with a Green New Deal, levelling up of wages and rights, and ending Fortress Europe. Labour will convene an international conference of left parties, unions and social movements to coordinate this struggle.

Motion 13

Mover: Liverpool Walton CLP
Seconder: Aberconway CLP

Conference notes the grave danger of a damaging No Deal Brexit or Hard-Brexit being imposed by the Johnson government that would lead to job losses, reductions in living standards and workers’ rights, plus cuts in environmental and consumer protections, and a harmful trade deal with the US that would threaten the NHS.

Conference supports the party leadership continuing to prioritise the fight to block a No Deal Brexit/Hard-Brexit, using all necessary and available means, including moving a Vote of No Confidence in the Government, fighting for a general election and supporting a public vote on the terms of any departure from the European Union Conference believes that Labour is the only party that can heal the harmful divisions in our communities and thus be able to move on and address the horrendous societal problems that face us, especially those caused by ten years of austerity, ruthlessly imposed on the disadvantaged by the Tories and Lib Dems

Whilst other parties have exacerbated polarisation, defining everyone by how they voted in the 2016 EU Referendum, Labour has tried to reach across the divide. It is a difficult navigation, but the right one.

Conference reaffirms its commitment to the approach that prioritises: the defence of people’s living standards and jobs; the maintenance of access to EU markets, with at a minimum a customs union; the protection of people’s rights; and no hard border o the island of Ireland.

Conference congratulates our party leadership and the PLP for voting in parliament: to stop Theresa May’s deal; against a No Deal exit; for a Customs Union; for alignment with the Single Market; and for a public vote – in line with the policy agreed by the 2018 Labour Party Conference.

Our party leader has made our way forward abundantly clear; a public vote on a deal agreed with the EU giving people a final say between a credible leave option and remain.

At all times, Labour will seek to overcome division and build maximum consensus around policies for the many, not the few.

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