[2018] ** Motion 17 Avoiding a cliff-edge Brexit

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into Composite 02

Congress believes that more than two years on from the referendum, the Brexit process has now reached a critical juncture. How our movement responds to events in the months to come will be decisive.

The warning from Airbus – which supports 110,000 jobs in the UK – against a hard Brexit that does not achieve either access to the Single Market or a customs union should be a wake-up call for anyone who believes the government can deliver a Brexit that protects, let alone enhances, workers’ interests.

Our movement cannot countenance a cliff-edge Brexit. The economic and social shockwaves would echo the financial crisis of 2008, leaving no one in our movement untouched. No measure can be ruled out to avoid this outcome.

If, despite itself, the government reaches a withdrawal deal that is put to parliament before March, the prospects that it can meet the tests set by Congress or the Labour Party are remote. When this happens, our movement must be prepared, politically and industrially, to mobilise against it.

Congress believes a defeated deal would be tantamount to a confidence vote in the government, warranting an immediate general election. Congress does not rule out the possibility of a popular vote being held on any deal in order to break parliamentary deadlock or overcome the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

Congress calls on the General Council to mobilise our movement politically and industrially to prevent either a cliff-edge Brexit or if the government’s withdrawal deal fails to meet the TUC’s five tests.