The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 30th November 2018

Labour steps up demand for snap election

by New Worker correspondent

THERESA May began her two-week tour of Britain to try and get support for her Brexit agreement this week. But behind her back Tory rebels are still plotting to unseat her while Labour steps up its demand for a snap election to end the crisis.

Last week the Prime Minister clinched a deal with the 27 other European Union leaders on Brexit terms that will keep the UK in a customs union with the EU if a wider trade deal is not reached. It includes a “backstop” arrangement to avoid the return of a “hard” border for northern Ireland which has enraged its coalition partners whose votes have kept the Tories in office since 2017. Meanwhile Tory Eurosceptics say that the agreed EU divorce terms will limit Britain’s ability to strike trade deals with other countries once we leave the European Union — a view clearly shared by US President Donald Trump who publicly suggested the draft agreement could threaten a US-UK trade deal.

“This is the best possible deal. It is the only possible deal,” Mrs May said following her talks in Brussels. But this was dismissed by Labour. Jeremy Corbyn said this was a “botched deal” and a “bad deal”. All it did “was mark the end of this Government’s failed and miserable negotiations,” the Labour leader said. “There can be no doubt that this deal would leave us with the worst of all worlds: no say over future rules and no certainty for the future”.

Corbyn said Labour will reject the Brexit deal when MP’s vote in parliament in December and that may well be the day the May government falls.


The Government relies on the ten votes of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to maintain its majority in the House of Commons. But the sectarian bigots have already threatened to break with the Tories over May’s Brexit deal which they believe undermines northern Ireland’s links to Britain and takes the occupied north of Ireland a step closer to reunification with the south.

Mrs May certainly got a frosty welcome from her erstwhile friends in Belfast this week. DUP leader Arlene Foster accused Mrs May of “giving up” on getting a better Brexit deal. She said the DUP opposed the deal but added that if the Government ditched “the backstop there is every reason to think that this agreement could go through”. But Ms Foster clearly doesn’t think that’s likely as she added that the Prime Minister was “wasting her time” trying to sell the agreement because it would not get the backing of Parliament.

Mrs May clearly hopes that she will get enough support from the Scottish nationalist and Liberal Democrat Remainers and the Europhile Blairite Labour back-benchers to get the deal through. A lot depends on which way the Tory Eurosceptics roll. The DUP seem certain to oppose along with hard-line Tory Brexiteers who believe Mrs May’s terms are totally unacceptable. Others will support Mrs May but only on condition that she immediately steps down after the vote to pave the way for a new Tory leadership election.

The House of Commons is expected to vote on the deal on 11th December. “I’m looking ahead to 11th December and to when this House will be faced with the decision as to whether or not it wishes to deliver on the vote of the British people with a deal that not only delivers that vote but also protects their jobs,” she told the Commons on Monday.

But while they speculate on the Commons vote within the corridors of power the Europhile wing of the ruling class is going all out for the real prize — a second referendum that they think they can now win. According to ITN, senior Labour sources say Corbyn is close to agreeing that if May loses the “meaningful vote” in December, he would formally make his party the champion of another referendum or “People’s Vote” - on the basis that if there is no consensus in parliament on what comes next, the question has to go back to the people.