Officials from the Labour Party in Scotland have called upon the party's UK leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to meet with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to forge an alliance aimed at thwarting Theresa May's Brexit plan, according to reports.
Labour peer, Lord Foulkes of Scotland, has called upon Miss Sturgeon, who heads the Scottish National Party (SNP), and Mr Corbyn to meet urgently.
"We need to build a broad front on the way forward, which I hope will be a people's vote," he is quoted by the Scotsman as saying.
Is it really democratic to go with the will of the people two years ago rather than the will of the people today?#PeoplesVote— Ian sala (@Iansala2) November 19, 2018
Miss Sturgeon confirmed on November 18 during an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show that she is eager to talk with Mr Corbyn when she visits London at some point over the next week. She also flirted with the possibility of a cross-party alliance to oppose Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, saying that "those who don't want this deal" should "come together" to pressure for a second public referendum.
However, Corbyn has frustrated those championing the merits of a second referendum on the terms of Theresa May's Brexit deal by signalling that, for now, he does not support such a proposal. Pressed on the matter by Sky News interviewer Sophy Ridge, also on November 18, the Labour leader said that, "it's an option for the future, but it's not an option for today. If there was a referendum tomorrow, what's it going to be on, what's the question going to be?"
My old pal, who backed brexit and is a leaver, and anti immigration, just messaged me and said 'we need to remain and reform. Brexit will break us'. Let that sink in. #PeoplesVote— Legally Privileged ❤️🌌🇪🇺🇬🇧🤝 (@LPrivileged) November 18, 2018
Despite those clear-cut words, many Scottish Labour MPs are not content with acquiescence.
Lord Foulkes reportedly said that, "this is a time for strong leadership in the interests of the workers who our party represents. I encourage Jeremy to engage with other party leaders, including Nicola Sturgeon, to address the Brexit crisis," according to the Scotsman.
Mr Foulkes does not stand alone in Scotland on the issue of a second referendum, or a ‘people's vote,' as it is often billed as.
I am tired of hearing people say that a #peoplesvote isn't democratic. More democracy is always democratic, and internationally there's precedent of having a final say in referendum once there's a choice of systems on the table.— Amelia Womack 🏴 (@Amelia_Womack) November 19, 2018
Another Labour MP singing from the same hymn sheet is Martin Whitfield of East Lothian in Scotland, who has suggested that a united Labour-SNP front may serve well to pressure Miss May into a second referendum. "For Theresa May to understand that all of the parties that are in opposition are as one on this is useful for her to know," he is quoted as having said.
He added that a "people's vote is what the majority of the country want."
Corbyn: “There’s 500 pages in this document… where’s the guarantee on environmental protections, where’s the guarantee on consumer protections, where’s the guarantee on workers’ rights?”— Bakehouse Cottage #FBPE (@Bakehouse2016) November 18, 2018
I'll tell you where those are @jeremycorbyn: they're in EU membership.
However, it appears that on the issue of Brexit, many Scottish MPs have more in common with the SNP's First Minister than with their own party's leader. Miss Sturgeon, who has slammed Miss May's agreement with the EU as a "blindfold Brexit" said in her BBC interview that the agreement should go "back to the people of the UK in another vote." "Those who don't think the Prime Minister's deal is the right way to go have now a responsibility to come together and coalesce around an alternative," she declared. Yet, Sturgeon also asserted her intention to have "discussions" with "other parties" to hash out possible alternatives to Theresa May's plan.
That's a far cry from Mr Corbyn, who in his Sky News interview, could not bring himself to say how he would vote if indeed a second referendum were held.
"I don't know how I am going to vote, what the options would be at that time," he said.