DEPUTY Labour Party leader Tom Watson yesterday urged Tory leader May to ‘come and talk to the Labour Party’. ‘If she cannot get a deal or if she gets a deal that cannot get a meaningful vote in parliament, it seems to me the game’s up’, said Watson on the Andrew Marr show yesterday morning.
He added: ‘I’ve said before on this programme, she’s a Prime Minister governing without a majority, and so the only decent thing to do, I think, would be to have a general election because that’s the only way we’re going to remove ourselves from this impasse.’ Marr said: ‘In those circumstances, if there was another election, perhaps even before Christmas, would Labour include in its manifesto a promise for another referendum or not?’
Watson answered: ‘Again it’s too early for us to tell on that. We need to see what the deal looks like. We don’t even know if there will be a deal. And it’s not in my gift or in Jeremy’s gift what the manifesto looks like. ‘The thing about turning a party over to its members is they have a say in what the final document will be. But we’re not ruling it out.’
Marr continued: ‘Jeremy Corbyn told the Labour Party conference that if Theresa May came back with something that was inside the customs union and wasn’t going to undermine workers’ rights and regulations and all the rest of it he would support her in the House of Commons. ‘Now, he knows perfectly well, and you know perfectly well that she can’t go as far as an actual customs union. But if she moves further towards what you want would you really vote her down and provoke possibly a no deal result?
Watson replied: ‘Look the six tests were not drawn out of thin air. They’re based on the commitments that the former Brexit Secretary gave, and that will be how we apply her deal. ‘But you know, Jeremy Corbyn reached out in the conference speech and, you know, Theresa May has not reached out to any opposition party, and certainly not the official opposition, in the last 18 months.
‘Jeremy Corbyn reached out and that was rejected by the Conservative Party Chairman, Brandon Lewis, in The Evening Standard the next day. That’s a great tragedy because we think we could have helped Theresa May get a better deal. And if she does want to help us – if she does want to get a deal through, then the six tests form a basis of the test that we will give to her. . .
Marr said: ‘So it’s six tests or no deal?’ Watson responded: ‘Well, we know our national duty and we know what our obligation is as the official opposition. You know, she can either face down her backbenchers and her own Cabinet, she can either go to Donald Trump and say, “please don’t destroy the World Trade Organisation”, or she can come to the Labour Party and look at our six tests. The choice is hers.’