Press release, Totnes and South Devon Constituency Labour Party

10 September 2018


Totnes CLP has joined dozens of others around the country in passing a motion in support of a public vote on the terms of the Brexit deal.


It is widely expected that this year’s Labour Conference in Liverpool (22-26 September) will discuss the party’s position on Brexit, and how CLPs should relate to the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign. Yesterday, Frances O’ Grady, Leader of the TUC, told the Trade Unions conference that ‘if we don’t get the deal that working people need, then the TUC will be throwing our full weight behind a campaign for a popular vote’.


The Labour Party’s preference is to fight another general election if the Brexit deal is defeated in Parliament. The issue of Britain’s place in Europe can then be put to voters alongside other policies to address austerity and insecurity, low wages, the housing crisis, and lack of opportunity.


However, as recent polls have shown, Labour Party and Trade Union members are increasingly convinced that a damaging Tory Brexit must be headed off at all costs The impact on jobs, wages, living standards and public finances will be devastating for working people. There’s increasing evidence that the Tories plan to launch a ‘race to the bottom’ on taxation and regulation, underming workers’ rights and envirionmental protections, and putting our public services at risk.


Proposer Helen Beetham said:

‘Many Labour supporters voted Leave because they felt that jobs and public services would be protected. They deserve a chance to look at the outcomes that are unfolding day by day. Who will really benefit from the Tory Brexit campaign? Not the NHS. A few hedge fund managers, and politicians on the far right of the Tory party.’


Seconder Peter McIlven added:


Rick Gaehl, Conference Delegate and CLP Secretary, said: ‘I’m very excited to be going to Conference this year to represent the views of our members. Two years on from the Brexit referendum, our members have had more than enough of the shambles presided over by the Tories in the aftermath of what was, in any case, a close result. The time has clearly come to review Labour policy and look seriously at how people now feel about our options for the future.’


And Evelyn Burges, Conference Delegate and CLP Vice Chair, added: ‘The Tories got us into this divisive and appalling mess of “Brexit”, and Labour have the opportunity to remedy this. We need to discuss our way forward in an open and frank debate at Conference, and I hope and trust that the motion from our local party will be instrumental in this. Apart from Brexit, we have the opportunity to lend our voice to further democratisation within the Labour Party, which is surely the way forward, as Labour approaches the very real possibility of forming a government in the near future.’


Lynn Alderson, CLP Branch Chair, concluded: ‘Totnes CLP is increasingly concerned about the mess the Tories are making of Brexit. The toxic atmosphere encouraged by Tory scaremongering has allowed racism and xenophobia to flourish. The lies that were told during the referendum campaign have become ever more obvious. I am very pleased that our CLP, along with many others and many of the unions are now supporting the possibility of another vote.


Other local party members will also be at Conference. You can follow daily reports live from the conference floor on the Totnes and South Devon CLP web site:


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