People are annoyed, confused, frustrated by the Labour leadership’s position on triggering Article 50. Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq has resigned her front bench position in the shadow cabinet, which is worrying. Either Siddiq does not understand the politics in play with Labour’s position on the matter and either hasn’t bothered to become informed or is incapable of being informed, which is deeply concerning, or she has made a decision to cynically undermine the leadership, their negotiating position, and risk protecting the British public from the Tories’ excesses. I can’t say what motivations lie behind Siddiq’s decision but they don’t bode well for a career in representing the British public’s best interests.
The cards that the current Labour leadership have been dealt are:
Labour are operating from a position of weakness because the Tories have the majority they need in Parliament to vote through their bill on triggering Article 50, regardless of the position taken by the opposition. This position was dealt to Labour in 2015 and has been further weakened through the resignations of Tristram Hunt and Jamie Reed.
There is a possibility that some Conservative MPs could vote against the Tories but this is not guaranteed and has not been stated but would be essential if the Tories are to be defeated in their bill to trigger Article 50.
17 million British voters voted to leave the EU and there is no alternative position (yet) to take that ignores that.
The Labour leadership have fashioned a position that either gains amendments to the Tories’ bill for triggering Article 50 that will provide the British public protection from the worst of the Tories’ excesses and ensure Parliament has the say on the timetable for triggering Article 50 and what comes after or, if the Tories reject it, will provide potential Conservative ‘rebels’ the justification for voting against the Tories. If Labour simply adopted the position of the SNP, the LibDems et al (and Tulip Siddiq) then there will be no amendments to the Tories’ bill to trigger Article 50, no reason for any Conservative MPs to rebel, and the Tories will proceed with their version of ‘brexit’ unencumbered.
Yes, it’s frustrating, annoying, confusing but Labour did not create this situation, the Tories did and we voted for it. The Labour leadership are attempting to get a deal that protects our interests, Leave or Remain. Don’t forget that there are people who want you to be confused about Labour’s position and who want you to direct your frustration and annoyance towards the current Labour leadership.
With a further follow up here: