It’s been estimated that more than a third of Labour MPs could vote against the Article 50 Brexit bill, making a mockery of Jeremy Corbyn’s three-line whip on the issue.
In the UK a three–line whip is an instruction given to Members of Parliament by the leaders of their party telling them they must vote in the way that the party wants them to on a particular subject.
Jeremy Corbyn has asked his MPs to abide by the majority vote in the referendum and respect democracy. It is worth noting that if the referendum had been counted as a general election on a constituency-based ‘first past the post’ system, ‘Leave’ would have won by a landslide majority of 160 seats.
Many of the big Brexit areas like Stoke on Trent and Copeland are what would be termed ‘Labour heartlands’ – areas in which the Labour vote has traditionally been strong and solid. However, with Labour MPs mostly supporting remaining in the EU during the referendum campaign, this poses a serious problem for Jeremy Corbyn and many existing Labour voters.
It means we will have Labour MPs in Brexit-voting areas who are at odds with the wishes of their constituents. The job of an MP is to represent and serve the electorate. If some Labour mps in brexit voting areas ignore Jeremy Corbyn’s request, then they are also ignoring the people who voted them in.
The brexit vote was the biggest turnout of voters in the entire recorded voting history of the UK and more representative than any general election has ever been. All MPs should reflect on that before they decide what action to take over the Article 50 bill.
Only UKIP has always been totally behind Brexit, and advocates a fast Brexit by simply repealing the 1972 European Communities Act. Labour supported ‘Remain’ and the Conservatives under Theresa May are doing everything they can to drag out the process unnecessarily.