May’s unexpected victory

The ratifications crisis continues to drag on as Theresa May runs down the clock until there is no time for Labour MPs to do anything other than vote for her Backstop-Brexit. They will have the added pleasure of stabbing Corbyn in the back, yet again. If her deal passes through the Commons, it will be a triumph. But she will lose the support of the DUP and call another ‘Falkland’s general election’. The plan is already in place.

May has already got 44% support in the opinion polls. It is shocking to see the most incompetent anti-working class government in living memory doing so well. But the people feel sorry for May. There is national sympathy for a women PM struggling against impossible odds with the world against her.

National sympathy can surely be turned into real votes if she gets her deal through the Commons. Yet behind the manufactured sympathy is a cunning and devious politician and a ruthless party. Pretending to negotiate to remove the Backstop is a smart move to keep the support of the Tory right. But when the time is right she will pull the plug on them.

Corbyn is likely to get his general election, but not as he imagined it. Fighting a triumphant May will surely have him recast himself as Michael Foot taking on Thatcher in 1983 Khaki election. Fortunately there is another way to a different kind of general election which takes place after the May is defeated and resigns. This starts with the fight for the democratic demand for the people to decide.

So far Corbyn’s tactics have been unconvincing. He does not seem to have grasped the fundamental democratic argument. In 2016 the people voted to leave. Whichever government comes up with a deal, the people must have the democratic right to ratify it. This is a Yes/No referendum not an In/Out one.

Corbyn must demand a ratification referendum on May’s deal. Labour’s election manifesto should promise a Yes/No referendum if a Labour government negotiates an alternative deal with the EU. However Corbyn must kill off the ‘Remoaners’ idea of a second ‘repeat-remain’ In/Out referendum. He must totally oppose it.

So what is Corbyn’s route to a general election victory? Labour must support the people’s right to ratify any deal. Then Labour puts down a resolution in the Commons for a Yes/No referendum and for the suspension of Article 50 until the people have the opportunity to vote. If the people reject May’s deal she will have no option but to resign. A general election will surely follow.

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