Labour do Referendum U-turn (again)

Labour acting leader Harriet Harman has said that they will now support an EU referendum by the end of 2017. She told the Sunday Times the reverse position came about after Labour “reflected on the conversations we had on doorsteps” during the election. Breitbart

Nigel Farage responded to Labour’s reverse-position by pointing out that:

“Harman and Benn’s position shows quite how little they have learned from their defeat and how much more they have to learn about the European Union debate in the UK. They grudgingly accept that it is the will of the British people to have a say on their future, but they make it clear that they will campaign for an In, whatever the result of Mr Cameron’s negotiations.

So in reality this isn’t a conversion to democracy and the facts of the European argument, merely an acceptance of the inevitable. Claims that the EU has kept the peace for 70 years, and that Britain would be in some way barred from trade with the EU nations rebels against all evidence. But they have closed their minds and hearts to evidence.”

David Cameron is facing a “battle royal” to deliver his promise of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, as Labour and Liberal Democrat peers plot to sabotage the Tory plan in the House of Lords. An EU Referendum Bill is expected to be announced in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday to pave the way for a national vote on whether the UK should leave or remain a part of Europe. However, the Prime Minister will come up against determined opposition in the Lords, as well as in Brussels, while facing “impossible” demands from hard-line MPs inside his own party in the Commons.” – Sunday Telegraph

Labour had promised a referendum before, but went back on their word, so we cannot expect much. Labour must be showing their support now in order not to be seen as anti-democratic, given the size of the popular Conservative win over them. They will also be wary of being on the losing side of a Commons vote on the referendum, which will be overwhelmingly in favour, and which may have sparked a revolt amongst their own MP’s. The four million votes which UKIP won at the election will no doubt have played a part in nudging an unwilling Labour into reverse gear.

If Labour really had ‘listened to the conversations on the doorsteps’ on this and other topics, they may not have suffered such a large defeat, but Labour will never change.