PM MAY is facing a revolt from at least 15 Tory MPs who are threatening to vote with the majority of Labour MPs against the government’s amendment to leave the EU on October 25 2019, thus creating the conditions to bring the May government down from the right and bring in a pro-EU regime.
The Tory pro-EU group have informed the world that they intend to join forces with Labour MPs to block enshrining the date of Brexit into law. Most of the Tory rebels voted to invoke Article 50, which gives Britain two years to leave the EU. However, the mutineers are threatening to wipe out the Prime Minister’s majority, supplied by the DUP at the cost over £1bn and plunge the party and the parliamentary system into a deep crisis.
It is not only the Tories that are split over leaving the EU. On Monday night, right-wing Labour MP Frank Field moved his own amendment that supported the government but changed the time for leaving by one hour to conform to British time.
He was interrupted at every stage of his speech by Labour MPs who are determined to remain in the EU, and defy the referendum result. He repeatedly remarked that the ‘Labour side needs educating’ over the position of Labour voters on Brexit and that in the constituencies, ‘Generally speaking, the larger the Labour majority in the general election, the last general election and the one before that, the more likely they were to vote leaving.’
Anticipating the split in the major parties that is developing, Field urged the Prime Minister to follow the example of Winston Churchill in the 1940s. He continued that, ‘Anyone serious about comparing this historic event to us fighting for survival in World War Two would have followed the move that Churchill made once he took over from Chamberlain. He would have moved from the ramshackle way of existing institutions and he established a war cabinet.
‘I believe … we need a Brexit cabinet – small, with the offer to the Opposition to be on it, as in wartime which Mr Attlee, Mr Greenwood accepted – that we actually try and have a national interest.’
At every stage in his speech, he was shouted down by Labour MPs. Later on, the government also comprehensively won a vote (318-68) on the bill’s provision for the 1972 European Communities Act to be repealed on exit day. However, nineteen Labour MPs voted against repealing the Act, which currently gives EU law supremacy over UK national law, in March 2019. In fact, the Labour ‘remainers’ have already appealed to May to form a war cabinet with them.
TUC leader and ‘remainer in chief’ O’Grady made the offer at a recent lecture at the LSE: ‘We have reached the point when the Conservatives alone have proved inadequate for the task ahead. They are unable to put the national interest before their own bitter factional interests. Not just the Prime Minister, but 60 million people are being held to ransom by 30 or so hard Brexit diehards. The Prime Minister needs to break free.’
What O’Grady wants of May is that, ‘She should bring together a negotiating team that genuinely represents the whole country. Let’s call it “Team UK”. It would be cross party, with representation from business and unions, and from every UK nation. It would force us to focus on the realities of the negotiation – the priority of protecting jobs and investment, the compromises to achieve it, and the price Britain will pay if we fail.’
May turned down the offer to renege on Brexit, but now a section of Tory MPs is coming forward with an offer to take action alongside Labour to halt Brexit and remain in the EU. It is now time for the masses of the working class to take action on this question against a parliament that does not want to carry out the referendum result. In the 1640s, Oliver Cromwell showed the way to deal not just with monarchs who believed that they ruled by divine right but with parliaments that believed they could ignore the wishes of the people.
He purged and closed down parliaments, abolished the House of Lords and proclaimed a Republic. The masses of the working class and the middle class must rise up and shut down any parliament that refuses to carry out the Brexit referendum result and replace it with a system of workers councils and a central workers council or soviet as the Bolsheviks did in 1917. The answer to parliamentary betrayal is to bring in a socialist UK as part of the struggle to smash the EU and replace it with a Socialist United States of Europe!