The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 14th December 2018

General election now !

by New Worker correspondent

MRS MAY is fighting for her political survival this week. She postponed the Brexit vote in parliament because she knew it would fall, only to face a Eurosceptic back-bench challenge to her leadership of the Tory party a few days later.

On Monday the Prime Minister confirmed the delay of the “meaningful vote” on the Brexit agreement with the European Union (EU) after it was clear that the deal would be rejected by a significant margin in the House of Commons. She then dashed to Europe for emergency talks to try to wring further concessions from Brussels. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called her the “runaway prime minister” and said that her trip was a “waste of time and public money”. And any hopes of a new face-saving formula were dashed when EU leaders refused to budge over the backstop plan for the Irish border during talks in Brussels the following day.

Mrs May claims that there was a “shared determination” amongst EU leaders to solve the Irish border problem preventing MPs from backing her deal. But EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says there is no room whatsoever for renegotiating the Brexit deal.

Whilst the Tory Eurosceptics battle over the Brexit plans, the Remainer wing of the ruling class is chasing after the greater prize — a second referendum to keep Britain within the EU under the UK’s existing membership terms. This could only be delivered by a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn and it is clear that some sections of the Europhile wing of the bourgeoisie now willing to pay for Labour’s modest reform package in return for the “people’s vote”.

Last week Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite, the giant union that gives immense donations to Labour funds, warned Labour MPs that they could alienate supporters by backing a fresh referendum and urged them to stick to Labour’s alternative Brexit plan. But this was rejected by Jeremy Corbyn’s Number 2, Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Asked during a visit to Glasgow on Friday whether he agreed with McCluskey, McDonnell said: “No.”

McDonnell said that if there were a second referendum it was “inevitable” that the choice for voters would be Remain versus Theresa May’s deal and “if it was, I would vote Remain”.

The Shadow Chancellor said: “I think if we get to a situation where we’d tried everything and we have tried everything … We’re doing our best. My speech yesterday [in the Commons] was a sincere attempt to try and bring all parties together to try and agree a Brexit which will protect jobs and the economy.

“If we can’t get that, we need a general election because we can then change the team that will then do the negotiations. If we can’t do that, well, I think people will recognise we have no other option but to consider another public vote and people will respect us for doing our best to implement the spirit of the referendum. We’ve got to resolve this issue. We can’t go on like this.”

In Parliament on Wednesday Corbyn said: “The time for dithering and delay by this Government is over. The Prime Minister has negotiated her deal, she has told us it’s the best and only deal available. “There can be no more excuses, no more running away, put it before Parliament and let’s have the vote. “Whatever happens with her Conservative leadership vote today, it is utterly irrelevant to the lives of people across our country — it does nothing to solve the Government’s inability to get a deal that works for the whole country