Manifesto 2019:The Final Say on Brexit
Labour will give the people the final say on Brexit. Within three months of coming to power, a Labour government will secure a sensible deal. And within six months, we will put that deal to a public vote alongside the option to remain. A Labour government will implement whatever the people decide.
Only a Labour government will put this decision in the hands of the people to give you the final say. This will be a legally binding referendum and we will implement the people’s decision immediately.
The Tories have failed for three years to get Brexit sorted, in a shambles of repeated delays and uncertainty. Whether people voted Leave or Remain in 2016, people and businesses are crying out for politicians in Westminster to finally focus on the wider challenges we face.
Labour rules out a no-deal Brexit, and we will end the scandal of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being wasted on no-deal preparations. No deal has never been a viable option. It would do enormous harm to jobs, rights, security and to our NHS.
Labour has led the campaign to stop a no-deal Brexit. A majority Tory government would pose a renewed threat of the UK crashing out with no deal. Only a Labour government can prevent this.
We will rip up the deeply flawed deal negotiated by Boris Johnson.
We opposed his deal precisely because it would do such harm to workers’ rights, environmental protections and to our manufacturing industry. Boris Johnson’s deal is even worse than Theresa May’s: it would leave the UK £70 billion worse off by 2029; it would give the green light to deregulation undermining UK manufacturing; and it would leave our NHS at the mercy of a trade deal with Donald Trump. This sell-out deal is unacceptable to Labour.
Labour will secure a new Brexit deal – one that protects jobs, rights and the environment, avoids a hard border in Northern Ireland and protects the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process. We will also ensure that there is no change in the status or sovereignty of Gibraltar.
Our deal will be based on the principles we have set out over the last two years.
It will include:
- A permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union, which is vital to protect our manufacturing industry and allows the UK to benefit from joint UK-EU trade deals, and is backed by businesses and trade unions.
- Close alignment with the Single Market – ensuring we have a strong future economic relationship with the EU that can support UK businesses.
- Dynamic alignment on workers’ rights, consumer rights and environmental protections so that UK standards keep pace across Europe as a minimum, allowing the UK to lead the way, not fall behind.
- Continued participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, including in such vital areas of co-operation as the environment, scientific research and culture.
- Clear commitments on future security arrangements, including access to the European Arrest Warrant and shared databases, making people safer at home and abroad.
Labour will secure a revised Withdrawal Agreement that provides legal protection for citizens’ rights, meets our international obligations – particularly with regard to the Good Friday Agreement – and ensures an appropriate transition period to allow businesses and citizens to adapt to any new arrangements.
We will also secure robust and legally binding protections for workers’ rights, consumer standards and environmental protections, and ensure level-playing- field protections are maintained. Labour will never accept an outcome that puts rights and standards at risk.
Once we have secured this new deal we will put it to a legally binding referendum alongside the option of remaining in the EU. This will take place within the first six months of a Labour government.
Labour is the only party that can heal the harmful divisions in our communities and address the devastation caused by 10 years of austerity, ruthlessly imposed on society by the Tories and Lib Dems. While other parties have exacerbated polarisation, defining everyone by how they voted in the 2016 EU Referendum, Labour has consistently reached across this divide.
Only Labour will deliver a final say referendum.
Only Labour will offer the choice of remaining in the EU, or leaving with a sensible deal.
This final say referendum will not be a re-run of 2016. It will be legally binding. Labour will implement the decision of the British people immediately.
Labour will introduce legislation to facilitate this referendum and to provide legal certainty and stability following the result.
We will introduce a Withdrawal Agreement and Referendum Bill, providing the legal basis to conduct and implement the outcome of the referendum.
We will scrap the Brexit legislation currently proposed by the Tories and introduce new legislation that is in line with Labour’s priorities and principles to protect our economy, trade, jobs and rights.
This will include new legislation to ensure support and certainty for UK farmers, our fishing industry and protection for our natural environment.
Labour recognises the huge benefits of immigration to our country. Many British citizens have benefited from freedom of movement, which has given them the opportunity to study, work or retire abroad. Likewise our public services and our industry have benefited from skilled workers coming here.
Labour believes that citizens’ rights should never have been used as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations, and recognises the huge anxiety this has caused for the three million EU nationals living in the UK and the 1.2 million UK nationals who have made their home elsewhere in the EU.
We will end the uncertainty created by the EU Settlement Scheme by granting EU nationals the automatic right to continue living and working in the UK. This new declaratory system will allow EU nationals the chance to register for proof of status if they wish, but will mean they no longer have to apply to continue living and working in this country.
This will help ensure reciprocal treatment for UK citizens living in the EU. It will also prevent a repeat of the shameful Windrush scandal and avoid unnecessarily criminalising hundreds of thousands of EU nationals.
If in a referendum the British people decide to remain in the EU, this must not mean accepting the status quo. Labour will work with partners across Europe to make the case for radical reform of the EU – in particular to ensure that its collective strength is focused on tackling the climate emergency, tax evasion and ending austerity and inequality.
The EU needs a new political direction and, if the people decide the UK should remain in the EU, Labour will lead the way to ensure that change.
For too long a politically inflicted wave of austerity has damaged communities across Britain and across Europe.
The most vulnerable members in our society have suffered, while the super-rich continue to be rewarded by a system that allows them to thrive at the expense of the many.
This must change. If the country decides to remain, a Labour government will take a different approach and strive to ensure that the EU works for people across our communities. The EU should focus on policies that value investment, protect public services and make those who have the most pay their fair share.
If people decide to leave, a Labour government will work constructively with the EU on vital issues of mutual interest and to the mutual benefit of the UK and EU. But we will leave the EU.
Most importantly, under a Labour government, you will get the final say on Brexit.