Labour MPs back launch of post-Brexit demands ‘Alternative Mandate’

Sienna Rodgers
© Another Europe is Possible/Jess Hurd

Labour MPs Clive Lewis, Kate Osamor and Nadia Whittome are among those backing the launch of a new campaign, ‘Alternative Mandate’, that sets out a left-wing post-Brexit vision.

Campaign group Another Europe is Possible, which organised within Labour to oppose Brexit and promote a fresh referendum before the 2019 general election, has unveiled the new initiative today.

The Alternative Mandate has put forward a list of demands on the ongoing Brexit negotiations that will determine the UK’s future relationship with the EU and whether there is a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The demands cover 13 areas of policy, from international coordination on the coronavirus crisis and on tackling the climate crisis to human rights and trade negotiations.

The group is asking for continued British membership of the European Medicines Agency, free movement, a UK net-zero target of 2030, no loss of rights for workers and protection of the Human Rights Act.

Observing that “Brexit happened in part because of a crisis of democracy”, the campaigners also call for broader commitments such as a written constitution, proportional representation for elections and votes at 16.

The alliance of figures behind the move include five Labour MPs, Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams, Green Party politicians, the TSSA’s Manuel Cortes and the general secretary of the BFAWU.

Sarah Woolley of the Bakers’ Union said: “As a union, we supported Leave in the 2016 referendum – but we never backed a Brexit that would hit jobs and workers’ rights, and neither did millions of Leave voters.

“This government is hell-bent on using Brexit to deregulate the economy and attack workers, and blaming migrants for the consequences. Now that we’ve left the EU, it is essential that the labour movement and the left unites around a set of demands to defend working class people.”

Labour’s Clive Lewis, who campaigned against Brexit, added: “We’ve left the EU, and it’s no good pretending like this hasn’t happened. But leaving the EU is just the first stage of the Brexit process. Everything is now at stake, and unless we apply some pressure, we are going to face yet another disaster.

“There is a real danger this government will try to use the Covid crisis and the very possible resulting recession as a shock doctrine. One they can use to reshape our society around a trade deal with Donald Trump.

“That could mean a permanently deregulated economy, lower standards and worse wages and rights. All the things we said were likely should Brexit be successful. There is almost no popular support for such an approach.

“That means we need to make ourselves heard – both about the dangers such a trade deal represents but also our own alternative vision for a radically different future and what it would like.”

Below is the full statement of Alternative Mandate and its signatories.

The UK has left the EU. Regardless of whether or not you opposed Brexit, we must all now come to terms with this reality and unite to address the enormous dangers ahead of us.

Coronavirus has disrupted the fabric of our society, and we will soon face a massive economic crisis. Around the world, right wing governments will use this crisis to pursue an unprecedented attack on workers, human rights, migrants and the environment. In the UK, they will attempt to use the Brexit process to deregulate the economy and undermine our rights.

If our alternative vision is to succeed, we need to break from the status quo, and to put forward a radical politics built on internationalism and solidarity. So today, we are supporting the launch of The Alternative Mandate – a set of demands on the Brexit process. From migrants rights to trade justice, and from public health and jobs to agriculture and science funding, we are determined to offer an alternative to the vision put forward by the likes of Boris Johnson, Victor Orban, Donald Trump and Matteo Salvini.

Achieving these goals, whether over the next five years or over the next 50, will require a mass movement that is pluralistic, and which stretches across the boundaries of parties and countries.

Caroline Lucas MP
Clive Lewis MP
Hywel Williams MP
Nadia Whittome MP
Kate Osamor MP
Virendra Sharma MP
Geraint Davies MP
Sian Berry AM, Green Party co-leader
Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader
Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary
Sarah Woolley, BFAWU general secretary
Ian Hodson, BFAWU president
John Moloney, PCS deputy general secretary (pc)
Amelia Womack, Green Party deputy leader
Shaista Aziz, Stop Trump coalition co-founder
Michael Chessum, Another Europe is Possible
Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now
Hilary Wainwright, Transnational Institute
Mary Kaldor, LSE professor
Joseph Healy, Left Unity principle speaker
Julie Ward, former MEP for the North West

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