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30 July 2019updated 25 Jul 2021 3:58pm

Labour can sink Boris Johnson and Brexit by vowing to Remain, reform and revolt

By Manuel Cortes

The Brexit Trojan Horse is no more. Boris Johnson’s cabinet of horrors has laid bare what many of us have been saying for a long while — our ruling class see Brexit as their chance to finish off what Thatcher started.

The Lexit nirvana, if it ever existed, is well and truly over — the evidence speaks for itself. In Johnson’s cabal, it’s not merely those with ministerial roles who are on the hard right. Just take a cursory look at the assortment of figures now advising the government. Steve Bannon’s alt-right project is surely taking root, and of course, Donald Trump’s warmth towards our new government says it all.

Some within Johnson’s gang are so deluded that they think we can become America’s 51st state. Yet objective reality points to a future relationship more akin to the subservient status that Puerto Rico sadly holds.

Let’s face it, the United States will call all the shots, leaving our NHS and our food standards in great peril. Chlorinated chicken and private healthcare are on their way if we don’t stop Brexit in its tracks. The overriding point, in any case is that no trade deal with Trump will ever compensate for what we are relinquishing by tearing up our economic and social relationship with our nearest neighbours.

There can be no doubt that our enemies are about to unleash the next offensive in their relentless class war on us. A mix of outdated Victorian values, coupled with racism and xenophobia, not to mention unhinged market fundamentalism, is about to descend.

Now is no time for the faint-hearted. Our movement was formed to combat such attacks with shrewdness and ferocity. We must fight back with all the armoury at our disposal and with each and every sinew. Thankfully, in Jeremy Corbyn we have a general who can lead us to victory. Beating the Tories won’t actually be that difficult if we adopt the correct strategy. Brexit is their Achilles’ heel and the key to their defeat lies in stopping it once and for all.

It’s great that Labour will now fight for a referendum on any deal and even better that we will campaign for Remain against any deal cobbled together by the Tories, or the disastrous spectre of no-deal. 

It’s also time to wave goodbye to our very own Brexit unicorns. There’s simply no better deal than the one we’ve got: EU membership. To quote the great Nye Bevan, “We know what happens to people who stand in the middle of the road. They get run down.” Brexit — a project of the rich, by the rich for the rich — must now be opposed with no quarter given. We simply need a crystal-clear message that spells this out.

Labour should vow to “Remain, reform and revolt” — this fighting spirit will sink Johnson. Let’s mobilise our base to deliver this mortal blow. Remember the other side won’t take any prisoners, so we must match their ruthlessness as we defend the many against the unfettered greed of the few.

Make no mistake; defeating Brexit will kill the Tories. Let’s face it, they are already on the brink. As with the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, burying Brexit will split the Conservative Party and allow Labour to implement its transformative programme.

We must always keep our eye on the real prize — power. This is our opportunity to rule for a generation and more. That is a prospect which all on the left should relish. It will give us the opportunity to construct the fairer Britain and better world we all crave.

That is something really worth fighting for. Now is the time to turn the deregulatory Trojan Horse into our white knight by defeating Brexit — and handing Jeremy the keys to No 10. 

In the coming months we must do all we can to force a general election. We must use this summer to campaign for our transformative programme like never before. 

Our message of hope will conquer the hopelessness that far too many of our people sadly feel. Let’s get out on the stump and show how our new economic settlement will leave no one behind. Our Labour movement must unite to defeat Johnson and his deregulatory clique and that means that our route to power now involves fighting Brexit with all our might — there is not a moment to lose.

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