December 6, 2019
The Prime Minister has written a letter urging Jeremy Corbyn to reconsider his Brexit policy and his plans to fiddle Labour’s second Brexit referendum.
New analysis shows that Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to extend the franchise would give two million EU nationals the vote, making it much harder for leave to win a second referendum.
The Labour Manifesto commits to giving the vote to ‘all UK residents’, which would mean extending the franchise to all voting age EU nationals with residency in the UK. This would add an extra 2 million people to the UK franchise.
Academic research suggests that 90% of these new voters would very likely back remain - applying this to the likely turnout in a second referendum means that leave could need to win nearly 500,000 more votes than it did in 2016 if it is to win again.
Dear Mr Corbyn,
This election was called because our gridlocked Parliament was unable to deliver the promise that MPs of all parties made -- to respect the referendum. You and your party voted to block Brexit repeatedly.
Your policy is to cancel the result of the last referendum and to hold another one. You have made clear that you oppose an Australian-style points system and you will not only continue ‘free movement’ with the EU but your policy is extend it to the entire world.
Even worse, your manifesto sets out plans to fiddle your second referendum on Brexit. You want to give two million EU nationals the vote in your referendum. This is a sly attempt to undermine the result of the 2016 referendum, and is profoundly undemocratic. No true democrat, even the most ardent supporter of Remain, could support your attempt to undermine the result of a democratically expressed vote.
I urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider this policy before the election on Thursday. Cancelling the result of the 2016 referendum is dangerous enough. Your approach has already done serious harm to trust in democratic politics and cancelling the result of the previous referendum before it has even been implemented will do more damage.
But your policy of giving millions of foreign citizens the vote in order to overturn the referendum would create incredible bitterness that might take decades to repair. Imagine how people will feel if the biggest democratic exercise in our history is overturned because you gave two million EU citizens the power to reverse Brexit. It would alienate millions who already feel disenfranchised and ignored by our political system.
We already face a real crisis of trust in our politics. It’s hard to imagine a policy that would do more to worsen this crisis than your plan.
Very few voters are aware of your policy. I fear that if people vote to give you and Nicola Sturgeon control on Friday 13th and you do what you have said in your manifesto, it will create the worst crisis in democratic politics in over a century.
Please reconsider before the election next Thursday.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”