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Open Letter to Corbyn: How to Solve the Brexit Dilemma

Activits are pushing for a People’s Vote. There’s another way.

PA/Stefan Rousseau

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

The UK is fewer than 80 days away from crashing out of the European Union without a negotiated deal. The impacts of a no-deal Brexit scenario are catastrophic – the UK would be destined for a lengthy recession, the GDP would shrink by 7.7 percent in 15 years, goods and food supply would be disrupted and trucks could face six-day queues into Dover.

There’s no doubt that Theresa May’s management of the Brexit negotiations is nothing but a “complete mess,” as you correctly described it. But your management of the situations has also been heavily criticized, with only 16 percent approving of your handling of the issue.

Activists and several of your colleagues within the party have been pushing for you to support a second referendum, but doing so could cost your party seats. Others, including yourself, are pushing for a new election with the hope of forming a new government and achieving a better deal than May’s deal. There is however no guarantee that Labour would form the government, with the most recent YouGov poll giving the Tories a six-point lead.

I believe that there’s another way. A better way.

I recommend that you issue a nationally televised press conference addressing the members of parliament, and the Conservative Party specifically, explaining that you will call a motion of non-confidence against the government. You would not request a new general election, but the creation of a new joint government under your leadership with representation from all parties. The scope and tenure of such government would be limited to securing a Brexit solution that will be acceptable to a majority of MPs, after which a general election would be called.

To garner such support, I recommend that you provide a clear framework of how you intend to achieve such a goal and what the mandate of this new government will be:

  1. The new government would guarantee that a no-deal Brexit would never materialize under any circumstance. It will not even be one of the ballot options should a second referendum be held. The government will postpone and even revoke Article 50 altogether if need be. This should put an end to the anxiety in the stock market impacting the UK pound.
  2. The government would request a 120-day delay to Article 50 from the EU in order to renegotiate a better New Deal and gain the necessary support from Parliament and the EU.
  3. If the New Deal is rejected in the House of Commons, a new referendum will be called where the public will have a ranked choice between the following 3 options:
    1. Remain within the EU
    2. Leave the EU and support the new deal
    3. Leave the EU and support May’s deal
  4. Commit to more transparency with all members of parliament and the public on all states of negotiations.
  5. As typical with any joint government in crisis, commit to only implementing laws that are not partisan in nature and have a broad consensus from most MPs.
  6. A general election will be called once the Brexit deal is signed or if the UK decides to remain within the union. To avoid appearing as opportunistic since Conservatives will undergo a new leadership campaign and are likely not expected to be ready for a new election, you offer the Tories the option to postpone the general election for another 6 months.

While this approach is atypical, I think it will catch everyone by surprise and will improve your favorability significantly, as this shows greats leadership. It would indicate that you put country above party, a message that will resonate with most across party lines.

Conservatives quite possibly may reject your offer and could unite behind Theresa May. This, however, will hurt them politically. In my opinion, you have nothing to lose. I strongly believe that this would improve your chances of winning the next general election.

Written by Salam Morcos

Salam Morcos is a Managing Editor of Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

Political activist for democracy, social justice, racial justice, women's right and human rights.

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Open Letter to Corbyn: How to Solve the Brexit Dilemma