A new development has occurred in the timeline of the Brexit story. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, has called out to the Green Party, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and rebel Tories to back him in a vote of no confidence against the UK’s New Prime minister, Boris Johnson.
In a letter to the multiple parties, Corbyn said that he would use the vote of no confidence to:
‘seek the confidence of the House for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election, and securing the necessary extension of article 50 to do so’.
He has also said:
‘In that general election, Labour will be committed to a public vote on the terms of leaving the European Union, including an option to remain’.
Already, some of the parties that Corbyn appealed to have replied. The Green party, SNP and Plaid Cymru have agreed to talks on the matter but not without having their own conditions on the agreement, with Ian Blackford pushing for Labour to ‘come off the fence’ about Brexit. These conditions seem to be sensible and calculated; something that is hard to come by in the political climate these days. To me, this shows signs of promise for the proposal.
But this proposal has not come without contention. Jo Swinson — leader of the Lib Dems — has said she is open to talks but refuses to accept Corbyn as the temporary leader. She would rather push for a Tory backbencher, which throws another spanner into the works of an already complicated situation.
Swinson’s refusal of Corbyn is not unfounded. It isn’t a hidden fact that Mr Corbyn has had some troubles recently. His centrist and compromising stance on the issue of Brexit has led a lot of his supporters to question their admiration for the Labour leader. His usual left stance on issues seems to have run for the hills. The people have a right to question his motives. A vote of no confidence would work in his favour, forcing the public to see him in a position of power that he has been vying for a while. But this venture, which is meant to be a final push to kick Johnson out before too much damage has been done, would arguably make Corbyn just as bad as Johnson — seen as a man that has been brought in with no say from the people to further his agenda. This seems to be what Jo Swinson is grabbing at. And who can blame her for being wary.
But from Corbyn’s perspective, his position of power is not his driving force. The primary aim of this proposal is to push Boris Johnson out of power and to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU in a no-deal. And that, I believe, is a truly noble cause. Because as of now, the reality is that Johnson is playing chicken with the EU, and we are the collateral damage. This childish threat of a no-deal is starting to become a reality, and Johnson is determined to push that outcome — even if it is to the detriment of the country. It is a dangerous game that Johnson is playing.
Pushing Boris Johnson out of office gives the country a chance to have a say about the future of their Parliament and their country. As Corbyn is pushing for a new general election, it means that the people have a real choice about their leader. May’s abandonment of the position of prime minister left it open for somebody without the support of the country to take over. This is arguably a dangerous and undemocratic outcome for Britain — a country that places its democracy on a pedestal. A general election means that people have the choice of voting in a leader, instead of having a person who was chosen by a small number of people who do not fully represent the UK. In my view, whether Corbyn carries out a soft Brexit or delivers another referendum, stopping a no-deal is the best way to ensure our country doesn’t fall into the hands of chaos.
Nevertheless, a temporary government and a general election mean that nothing changes for 16 and 17-year-olds. A new government or another referendum means nothing to young people as we have no say. We are still left disenfranchised with no consultation over our future and for now, I see no hope for change.
To have a truly balanced and comprehensive perspective from the public, young people must be given a say in what happens to their future.
In all honesty, I will never be able to fully support Corbyn’s proposal until I am given the chance to be a player in my own future.