Source: How to stop Brexit before it is fully accomplished
It really is quite extraordinary that no coherent or effective opposition to Brexit has emerged within the British political system. The general ineptitude of the Corbyn-led Labour Party is less than a sufficient explanation as none of his many critics at the top of the party have shown any willingness to man the barricades. ‘Respecting the vote’ is a paltry fig-leaf: people were never asked to vote for what is now on offer, and besides, it is a vital principle of democracy that the voice of the people is always decisive, but never final. The people can change their minds if asked, but no one is asking them apart from Tony Blair and a few Liberal Democrats.
Russell Blair (no relation as far as we know) reckons it could be done and the Labour Party could do it in the general election on 8th June by mobilising on Brexit.
To build a winning coalition, first you take all those who voted against Brexit. Then you reach out to the ‘Bregretters’, those who voted against Cameron or the establishment or the experts for emotional reasons, but now realise they are being presented with the hardest of Brexits for no good reason. And finally, add in the soft Brexiteers who would prefer to have a third option: Less Europe rather than No Europe.
Labour should then offer to negotiate with the EU in parallel with May, but rather than seeking exit terms, it should effectively seek to get the deal Cameron failed to get. Given the many assurances this week that Article 50 could be reversed and Britain would be welcome back, Russell Blair reckons there is enough good will left in Europe for a compromise, if only because the EU27 now realise that only a compromise on their part could undo the damage now done. To put that more bluntly, as he does, they never realised Brexit could win, but they know better now.
His arithmetic is impeccable, and the case is reinforced by polls showing that opposition to Brexit is now at 44%, level pegging with support for Brexit. But his faith in the ability of the Labour Party – any of it – to mobilise on Brexit is almost touching in its naivety. They were split on Brexit from the start and have shown no real appetite for fighting the Tories on it, not even the relatively mild option of forcing parliamentary approval of the final terms. The Liberal Democrats have adopted the simple position of demanding a second referendum on the deal that May brings back, which even Corbyn must know by now is going to be terrible. If they were remotely capable of doing what Russell Blair want, they would at least have matched that position.