Westminster Labour Group have submitted a motion to Westminster’s Full Council meeting on Wednesday 23rd January calling for Westminster Council to add its official voice to the urgent calls to prevent a disastrous No Deal Brexit, for an urgent General Election to try to end the gridlock in Parliament and for a Second Referendum.
The Government has suffered the largest defeat in the history of parliamentary votes with the rejection of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement that would see the UK weaker both economically and politically, with a damaging impact on Westminster’s residents.
Westminster Labour Group believes there is an urgent need to take further steps to a ‘No Deal’ Brexit that could have a disastrous on those in greatest need in our city. Despite the Government’s narrow victory in a confidence vote yesterday, it remains clear it has no mandate to deliver a Brexit deal- let alone provide answers to the devastation caused across the country by austerity, inequality and the many social challenges the UK faces. Therefore it is absolutely right for Labour to continue to push for a general election to try give the country a government with a mandate to govern- we passionately believe there should be a Labour Government committed to addressing these challenges. However with time for new solutions limited very limited and no perfect options on the table, Westminster Labour Group believes that any deal this (or a post-election) Parliament agrees should be put to a public vote in a Second Referendum, with an option of remaining in the EU (the preference of 69% of Westminster residents last time this question was asked).
Westminster Labour Group’s motion is as follows:
This Council notes the gridlock in Parliament over Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.
This Council also notes the rise in extremist political intimidation in Westminster, notably around Parliament, that has been fuelled by the Brexit debate.
This Council believes that a No Deal Brexit would be hugely damaging to Westminster and the country as a whole.
The Council believes that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration negotiated by the Government fails to deliver on the political promises made by the Leave Campaign in 2016.
The Council also believes that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration fail to ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU; they fail to deliver the exact same benefits as membership of the Single Market and Customs Union; they fail to ensure a fair future approach to migration; they do not fully defend rights and protections (including for Westminster’s EU citizens); they limit the scope for collaboration to protect national security and cross-border crime and will cause significant problems for the regions and nations of the UK.
The council resolves to call on Parliament to take further urgent steps to prevent a No-Deal Brexit.
The council resolves to call for Parliament to trigger a General Election to attempt to break the deadlock in Parliament and help deliver a government with a mandate to tackle both the Brexit issue and the economic, social and political challenges facing the country.
The council resolves to argue that this future Government, or the current Government if an election cannot be achieved, should put any Brexit deal to a public vote through a second referendum, with an option to remain in the EU. It also believes that given the wide range of Westminster communities whose futures will be shaped by Brexit that, if achievable, such a vote would be open to 16-18 year olds and to residents who are EU citizens.
*** At the meeting the ruling Conservatives pushed through an amendment that removed all reference to stopping no deal and the need for a second referendum. To read what they did or to listen to the debate see here. ***