I fully support Jeremy on his position on calling for a three line whip on voting for second reading of the bill on Article 50. On such an important issue to which Jeremy has been clear on in terms of respecting the outcome of the referendum, it would have been a fatal mistake and seen as lack of leadership to not insist on a whipped position (which is what people attack JC for!)
We are putting down significant amendments and trying to hold the government to account with members from across the house. This will inform the public about what Brexit means to them and ensure we get a vote on the final deal. We cannot vote it down at second reading as this action is to 'block' brexit before we have even debated what it will mean and any details of a deal. This would be completely against the democratic process. It would be the end of the Labour Party if we disrespect the voters.
What's next saying as only 'X' percent of the electorate voted so the GE outcome is void etc. I totally understand why some of my colleagues feel the need to break the whip but let's not pretend that on decisions like these MPs don't break whips when their constituents feel so strongly about it. It happens in every parliament and every party.
There will be Tories that defy their whip also. To suggest that JC could duck a whipped position on this is really absurd. We have to do our best to hold the government to account and demand the facts throughout the parliamentary process before a final vote. That is the correct way to go about scrutiny whilst respecting democracy, not to vote it down before we have even had chance to debate and see the details.
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