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CWU reaffirm opposition to second referendum

by Marcus Barnett
in Bournemouth

POSTAL workers reaffirmed their fight yesterday for a Brexit deal that can deliver “democratic socialist transformation.”

Delegates at the Communication Workers Union (CWU) annual conference in Bournemouth urged Labour to “move on” from campaigning for a second referendum on Britain’s European Union membership.

An emergency motion criticised the “hugely divisive” 2016 referendum and recognised the “entrenched” levels of division over the result.

However, the text said that its first priority must be for a “transformative Labour government that will deliver an irreversible shift and wealth and power,” insisting that the whole country must “move on” from the result.

The conference rejected a “damaging no-deal scenario” and urged Labour to support a deal that would protect workers’ rights and avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Tomorrow, the party’s national executive is expected to decide whether to campaign for a public vote on any Brexit deal.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward told delegates: “The reason why we are in this chaotic position is because the Tories wanted to have a debate with themselves.

“May’s deal, experts say, will have a minus 3 per cent impact on the economy.

“If a no deal goes in, experts say that it would have a minus 9 per cent impact.

“But no-one ever talks about how, in the last 40 years, as a proportion of GDP, the wages that have been in workers’ pockets has gone down from 65 per cent to 49 per cent.

“We need to get Labour elected to reverse this, which is more important than any second referendum.”

CWU young members’ chair Scott Hartles said: “Nearly all the public figures in favour of a second referendum are middle class and not working class — it figures.

“We should focus on day-to-day issues like the housing crisis, the mental health crisis, the surge in foodbank usage.

“People’s Vote is a buzzword. It means nothing to me.

“Reversing the cuts made by the likes of the Tories and the SNP by electing a Labour government means something to me.”

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