Brexit Bill passes – Left Unity press release


MPs have overwhelmingly agreed to let the government begin the UK’s departure from the EU in their final vote on the Brexit bill. The draft legislation was approved by 494 votes to 122, and now moves to the Lords. Labour’s shadow business secretary Clive Lewis quit the front bench rather than follow party orders to back the bill. Sadly Diane Abbott a principled campaigner on the issue of migration and free movement voted for the bill despite all Labour amendments having fallen and despite Theresa May having given no ground whatsoever. Even the amendment relating to the security of existing EU migrants was defeated. This was not a day to celebrate the steadfastness of the new leftwing Labour leadership. They have calculated wrongly that they needed to take this position in order to steady good ship Labour but they have left the party floundering on the rocks. The vote at the end of the negotiations is meaningless. The struggle against Brexit now moves to the streets.  May will now trigger formal Brexit talks by the end of March. Apart from Labour we have to draw attention to the organisations of the so-called revolutionary left. They called for Article 50 to be voted through under any circumstances wrongly believing that the referendum vote represents not a shift to the the right politically but an advance for the working class. They may still involve themselves in politics but few will take seriously their pretensions as revolutionaries.

Joseph Healy Left Unity Principal Speaker made this statement this evening

“As Captain May continues her voyage of the damned towards the economic and political iceberg that is Hard Brexit, Labour has thrown the life vests and lifeboats overboard! Yesterday they were outgunned by the Tories as parliament voted effectively to give more amending powers to the European Parliament on the final deal than the UK parliament will have. Today the rights of 3 million EU citizens/hostages living in the UK have been trampled underfoot. By ordering a three line whip to vote this appalling deal through, Corbyn has tied Labour to the mast of this doomed voyage whose only port of arrival will be a bargain basement Britain where workers and environmental rights will be destroyed under the Tories. Meanwhile Scotland and Northern Ireland have been locked in the hold, their representatives barely allowed to speak in the debate on Article 50.

The vital principle of Free Movement of labour is also being thrown overboard and Labour is prepared to stand by and accept this. Purely on the grounds of political expediency Labour is abandoning all the tenets of internationalism and solidarity with workers and migrants and allowing this country to continue on a voyage whose only outcome can be the hardest of Brexits.

Left Unity will continue to stand for Freedom of Movement and the retention of workers and environmental rights and will not abandon the many young people who voted against this outcome, along with the 3 million EU citizens who continue to be the victims of the mounting xenophobia and racism which can only be strengthened by this atrocious decision. Corbyn and Labour have made a major historic error in allowing this blank cheque for the Tories to go through and will be judged by history as the results of this decision become clearer.”





7 responses to “Brexit Bill passes – Left Unity press release”

  1. Andrew says:

    Wonderfully mangled metaphor, Joseph – a voyage with a mast that arrives in a basement? But I share your sentiments- the 3 line whip was a very bad idea.

  2. Nick Wright says:

    Crackers. To follow this line would isolate Labour from both the Brexit majority and the big section of Remain voters who regard the issue as settled by the vote.
    Left Unity is now positioned as in opposition to Labour under Corbyn and in competition with the Lib Dems in chasing the votes of Remainers unreconciled to the popular will.
    Does anyone in Left Unity think that a radical programme of public ownership, public expenditure led growth and controls on capital export can be followed within the single market? Or does this not matter in the face of an unprincipled convergence with big business, the banks and the CBI?

  3. Graeme Ewart says:

    Unfortunately the left maintaining the moral high ground is no longer enough for people, we need to give them tangible senarios that will show them the nightmare that is Brexit and beat it to death. May bought off Nissan that’s fact, she did it for fear that this would influence public opinion, Labour govs of the past were slated for subsidising BL this is rank hypocrisy but the left didn’t capitalise on it.

  4. P Ward says:

    This is a very stupid and sectarian article that will not endear Left Unity to the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party (which I think is a great pity). I suggest that the article be take down until after the Left Unity National Committee has discussed this issue.

    I didn’t agree with Labour voting for article 50 (I think they should have abstained), much less with Jeremy Corbyn instituting a three-line whip, but that doesn’t mean I think that Corbyn has somehow now plumped for a “hard Brexit” and I think Joseph Healy would be hard put to find evidence for that. He’s elevated a difficult tactical problem for Labour (and one on which I think Corbyn made a mistake) into a major “betrayal of principle” in the exactly manner of the “revolutionary left” that he derides so forcefully. Motes and beams come to mind.

  5. ben page says:

    I don’t get this? Labour couldn’t block the result of the referendum? They put forward their amendments which were blocked by the Tories.
    If they had voted against it they’d still be in the same position they are in now but the tabloids would have driven an even bigger wedge between them and the disillusioned Brexit labour supporters.

  6. Michael says:

    When the British parliament has the power to legislate on this we can have the most ‘liberal’ immigration policy anywhere in the world if we want to (much more so than the racist immigration policy forced on us currently by the EU). So what’s the problem?

  7. david spencer says:

    I have just re-read the manifesto.
    It says Resist austerity.
    Staying in the bosses club allows governments to hide behind EU directives and carry out the con-trick of austerity to destroy the working class of Europe.
    Single market, privatise or destroy.
    A UK government will not be able to blame EU regulations once out.
    The working class, who do all the work anyway, do not need a bunch of parasits riding on their backs.
    A Socialist government will not be constrained by the capitalist gang, IMF, ECB, etc, in carrying out a socialist programme of investment in our infrastructures, social health, education.
    Our railways can be taken back into public ownership, our utilites also.
    Corbyn needs support from the left.
    This press release does not do that. I find it confusing, lacking in any vision, muddy, querulous.

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