With the Conservatives looking likely to go for a no deal Brexit and The Brexit Party gearing up for a snap election, pressure is on Jeremy Corbyn to state his party’s position on leaving the EU, clearly. And he has now stated that Labour will back REMAIN should there be a second referendum on the subject. I think Labour will also back REMAIN if a General Election becomes reality before the end of the year. The Party has no choice, they need to get supporters back from the LibDems and The Brexit Party have claimed the hard Brexit battleground.
However, backing REMAIN in a General Election will lead to many Labour voters quitting the party, possibly for The Brexit Party. The Conservatives may strike a loose deal with The Brexit Party in which seats which could split the vote are not contested by the candidate least likely to win. There is a real chance of a large majority for a party intent on leaving the EU with no deal, especially in our “first past the post” system. Labour are gambling on the fact that their core voters will always vote for them regardless of the policies they put forward, but in working class areas, wages are now rising due to a drop in EU immigration. A vote for REMAIN will open the flood gates of “free movement” again and I doubt working class voters want that.
Will there be an election before 2022? If just three Conservative MP’s resign the whip on the day that Johnson is elected Conservative leader, then it is doubtful that the Queen could appoint Boris Johnson as the next PM as he would need to be “the most likely” to achieve the confidence of The House. With no majority, even when DUP votes are added in, Johnson would not qualify for the appointment and the most likely scenario would be a vote on a General Election.
The next three months are going to be eventful.