An open letter to Jeremy: a public vote must be our bottom line

3 April 2019

This letter was sent to Jeremy Corbyn on 6th April 2019.

Dear Jeremy,

In a desperate move by a Prime Minister who has run out of options, the Labour Party has been invited to enter negotiations with Theresa May about reaching cross-party agreement on a Brexit deal. With no support in parliament or in her own party, the Prime Minister has turned to Labour to bail her out.

But Theresa May has been clear that the legally binding part of the Brexit deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, cannot be renegotiated. This means that the only concessions Labour could obtain will be non-binding assurances about the future relationship. Any future Tory Prime Minister could simply rip up these “guarantees” after Theresa May leaves office, and it is the stated aim of the vast majority of Tory MPs to do precisely this.

The only way to guarantee jobs, rights and protections – and Labour’s reputation with its membership and the electorate – is to support a confirmatory public vote on any option which is agreed by parliament, which will put additional pressure on the government to hold the early General Election the country needs.

Under the current leadership, Labour is offering a vision of hope which has inspired millions of people. Tory Brexit threatens this, and so does any perceived participation in delivering it. Any compromise deal which is now agreed by parliament will have no legitimacy if it is not confirmed by the public.

The views of members are clear. Labour’s democratically established policy, passed at party conference in September 2018, is to oppose a Brexit deal which does not meet Labour’s six tests and put any deal that does to a public vote. It would be untenable for Labour not to insist on a public vote on a deal which did not meet these tests.

It is not Labour’s job to rescue Theresa May and usher in her successor. We need a general election to kick out the Tories. It is our job to find a find a way to break the deadlock. In our view, the only way to do that is with a public vote.

We – your supporters – urge you to make a confirmatory public vote your bottom line in negotiations with Theresa May and to fight to bring this government down.

Original Signatories from Love Socialism, Hate Brexit:

  1. Marsha de Cordova MP
  2. Janet Daby MP
  3. Anneliese Dodds MP
  4. Rosie Duffield MP
  5. Ruth George MP
  6. Preet Gill MP
  7. Ged Killen MP
  8. Clive Lewis MP
  9. Rachael Maskell MP
  10. Anna McMorrin MP
  11. Stephen Morgan MP
  12. Chi Onwurah MP
  13. Kate Osamor MP
  14. Luke Pollard MP
  15. Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
  16. Alex Sobel MP
  17. Paul Sweeney MP
  18. Catherine West MP
  19. Matt Rodda MP

Additional signatories that support the sentiment of this letter:

  1. Debbie Abrahams MP
  2. Rushanara Ali MP
  3. Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP
  4. Tonia Antoniazzi MP
  5. Margaret Beckett MP
  6. Ben Bradshaw MP
  7. Chris Bryant MP
  8. Karen Buck MP
  9. Ruth Cadbury MP
  10. Ann Clwyd MP
  11. Neil Coyle MP
  12. Mary Creagh MP
  13. Stella Creasy MP
  14. Alex Cunningham MP
  15. Geraint Davies MP
  16. Tan Dhesi MP
  17. Stephen Doughty MP
  18. Angela Eagle MP
  19. Maria Eagle MP
  20. Dame Louise Ellman MP
  21. Julie Elliott MP
  22. James Frith MP
  23. Kate Green MP
  24. Lilian Greenwood MP
  25. Helen Hayes MP
  26. Meg Hillier MP
  27. Margaret Hodge MP
  28. George Howarth MP
  29. Rupa Huq MP
  30. Sarah Jones MP
  31. Susan Elan Jones MP
  32. Darren Jones MP
  33. Liz Kendall MP
  34. Peter Kyle MP
  35. David Lammy MP
  36. Chris Matheson MP
  37. Steve McCabe MP
  38. Kerry McCarthy MP
  39. Alison McGovern MP
  40. Catherine McKinnell MP
  41. Madeleine Moon MP
  42. Ian Murray MP
  43. Jess Phillips MP
  44. Bridget Phillipson MP
  45. Steve Reed MP
  46. Rachel Reeves MP
  47. Ellie Reeves MP
  48. Virendra Sharma MP
  49. Barry Shearman MP
  50. Andy Slaughter MP
  51. Owen Smith MP
  52. Jo Stevens MP
  53. Wes Streeting MP
  54. Gareth Thomas MP
  55. Stephen Timms MP
  56. Anna Turley MP
  57. Thelma Walker MP
  58. Matt Western MP
  59. Martin Whitfield MP
  60. Phil Wilson MP
  61. Dr Paul Williams MP
  62. Daniel Zeichner MP
  63. David Hanson MP
  64. Seema Malhotra MP
  65. David Drew MP