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27/06/2019 06:00 BST | Updated 27/06/2019 06:00 BST

Labour Voters Have The Most To Lose From Brexit – That's Why Our Party Must Back Another Vote

The people voted for neither Farage's no-deal exit or the hard Brexit being talked up by Boris Johnson – Labour will not be forgiven for letting either happen, Andrew Adonis writes

John Phillips via Getty Images

On Saturday I am speaking at the latest People’s Vote rally in Cheltenham.

A sold-out audience in the town hall will hear speakers from all political backgrounds and none argue the case to put solving the national emergency over Brexit back into the hands of the British people. 

Many Labour friends from the south west will be there, and it probably won’t surprise you to hear that I believe the Labour Party should be front and centre of this campaign.

All of them will have been incredibly disappointed when the party’s shadow cabinet yet again failed to come out firmly behind a second vote on Brexit this week.

Make no mistake, it is Labour people who will suffer most from the ideological imposition of a no-deal and they will not forgive our party if we are held complicit in allowing it to happen.

We have voters who supported both leave and remain but none of them want to see the Labour Party so terrified of making a firm decision on this issue that it remains transfixed, paralysed while the Tory right wing tears up fifty years of economic, social and trade policy.

The People’s Vote campaign has launched an all-out nationwide offensive through the summer and the autumn that will culminate in one of the biggest demonstrations Britain has ever seen in London on October 12.

Those events, that rally, will be full of Labour members and supporters who desperately want their party to make common cause with them, to help them in their fight against this destructive Tory obsession with Europe.

Now is the time for our party to show leadership and give voice to the concerns millions of our supporters and members have about their jobs, rights and opportunities.

Labour needs to clearly and loudly make the case that It would be a democratic outrage for a new prime minister to impose a destructive Brexit on the people of Britain, without us having the chance to be heard through a final say referendum.

The people did not vote for the no-deal exit now favoured by Nigel Farage and, indeed, it was barely mentioned in the last referendum. 

Nor did they vote for the destructive hard Brexit being talked up by politicians like Boris Johnson, which has never appeared on any ballot paper, but would hit poorest communities first and worst. 

There is no mandate in the country and no majority in Parliament for either of them.

The plan currently being hatched by the far right of the Conservative Party is for a Brexit that will only lead to more humiliation for our country, does not guarantee our future trading or our security relationships with Europe or the rest of the world. 

If you want to end this nightmare for our country – whether you want Brexit to go ahead or would prefer to stay in – the only way to unlock the political impasse, secure a stable majority in Parliament and legitimise the outcome is to let the people have the final say.  

I would urge all Labour Party members and supporters to support another vote, and I ask those few remaining members of our party’s leadership who are holding out against this cause to think again. This is the cause of our times, the fight of our life, join us in it.

Let us be heard.

Andrew Adonis is a Labour peer