Open Labour Calls for Brexit Special Conference

by: Open Labour on 13.12.18 | In: News
by: Open Labour on: 13.12.18 in: News

The Open Labour National Committee has decided to add their backing to the call made by the TSSA union for Labour to have an emergency special conference to clarify the Party’s Brexit policy and support Jeremy Corbyn’s call in 2016 to retain and reform. We will be putting this call to a vote with a motion at our Policy Conference in January.

In the volatile situation triggered by Theresa May refusing to table her Withdrawal Agreement for a vote and the Tory No Confidence Vote exposing the scale of opposition to Theresa May in the Conservatives, it is vital Labour has a settled position going into a General Election.

This move comes after Open Labour published a Pamphlet this summer ‘The Left’s Relationship with Europe.’  outlining the Brexit options and an approach the left should take to Europe. The Pamphlet was produced jointly with Unison and co-authored by Alex Sobel MP, Catherine West MP, Yanis Varoufakis and TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes.

Leeds North West MP and Open Labour Committee member Alex Sobel said:

“Our internal democracy is the most vital part of our party decision making process. When facts change its important to go back to our sovereign policy making body, Labour Party Conference, to make the decisions. With 29th March 2019 rapidly approaching it’s important that our members have the final say in what our position should be before a General Election. We all understand that our leadership is managing a very difficult balancing act well. I hope that they will see our members as vital in getting our party to stand united at this time of crisis and get the best resolution for our party, the communities we represent and everyone in this Country whether they voted leave or remain.’

Open Labour co-chair Emma Burnell said:

“The government is in chaos and is headed towards a hard, devastating Brexit. Now is the time for the Labour leadership, MPs, Trade Unions and Labour Party members to step up and show the leadership this country needs and offer the country a way out of the appalling mess the Tories have left us in.”



  • Leaving the EU is a far right racist policy which only benefits the very rich and in particular tax dodgers. All other people in the UK will suffer under any form of brexit – there are no benefits whatsoever. The overwhelming majority of Labour members and supporters want to remain in the EU. The 37% who chose the opinion ‘leave’ in the advisory only referendum where mainly tories and ukippers and millions were denied a say. This poll was marred by lies and the proven illegal activity of the ‘leave’ campaigns and it is bizarre that Labour “respects” this opinion. In any case the Labour manifesto only states that it “accepts” the result which is very different but in any case refers to the time before the illegal activity of the ‘leave’ campaigns was known. The 37% opinion provides no mandate or legal decision for the UK to leave the EU – this should have been decided in Parliament but only once this outcomes of this action had been fully explored. This has never happened – no impact assessments, no cost benefit analysis, no consultations, no plan and no idea at all about where the UK will end up. If I implemented a major change as a manager and had failed to complete these activities I would, quite rightly, have been sacked. This is a huge dereliction of duty but instead of attacking the tories for this the Labour Party has sat on it’s hands and done nothing.

    The best outcome the UK by far and the one that best meets socialist principles is to remain in the EU and yet the Labour Party has done nothing to promote this.

    It is not too late for the Labour Party to do the right thing . Labour can say that they have seen what the tory’s / Mays disaster of a plan and that it is clear that any form of brexit is hugely damaging. Brexit opposes the core values of the Labour Party and is against the best interests of the overwhelming majority of people in the UK. Labour should come out strongly in favour of remain and if brexit cannot simply be stopped should support a ‘people’s vote’ (as agreed at conference). The Labour Party must support the will of Labour party members and supporters (rather than the opinion of the tories and ukippers who chose the option ‘leave’ ) and oppose brexit and support a people’s vote.

    Labour will be slaughtered in the polls if they continue to either support any form of brexit or sit on the fence. Millions of us gave Labour the benefit of the doubt last time but we won’t do it again. Many have interpreted a vote for Labour in the last GE as a vote for brexit (or at least a brexit supporting party) and this will stop millions from voting for a Labour Party seeking any form of brexit. Labour should by seeking to clear up the Tory mess not repeat what they are doing.

You may also like

Labour Party Democracy Review – Open Labour submission, Part 2 by Open Labour National Comittee | 26.03.18 | In: News Open Labour has prepared a response to the second stage of the 2018 Labour Party Democracy Review. Part 2 submission (March 2018) – please click... Read More
Statement on the expulsion of Tony Greenstein and abuse in the Labour Party by Open Labour | 19.02.18 | In: News At Open Labour we have long called for tougher action against racist, prejudiced or abusive behaviour in the party, and in particular for the party and its... Read More
Statement on NPF Chair election by Open Labour | 17.02.18 | In: News Open Labour is disappointed that the election of the National Policy Forum chair was cancelled. The argument that one week's notice was not given is unusual... Read More
Statement in Support of Ann Black by Open Labour | 09.02.18 | In: News As a two-decade-long voice for party democracy and left policy, Open Labour will continue to support Ann Black and her place on the National Executive... Read More

Our Newsletter

© 2019 Open Labour