IN the possibly unlikely event that Owen Smith is elected leader of the Labour Party in September, he has announced that he will throw the Labour ‘strength’ in Parliament behind a call to the government to give the British electorate an opportunity for a second referendum or he will insist on a general election.
His view is that Labour did not do anything like what it could have done to get behind the Remain vote and he believes that the British people should have the right to approve the terms of any Brexit.
His position however is in theory oxymoronic as the terms of the exit will not be agreed until after Article 50 is invoked, so whilst there may be some unofficial discussions prior to Britain formally applying to leave the EU, they will not be binding on any party.
Whilst the prime minster has indicated that she does not want to see Article 50 invoked during 2016, senior figures in the Conservative Party are pushing for her to get things moving as early as possible in 2017 as many fear that delay will actually result in postponement of a final decision and indeed a possible reversal of opinion.
With the close split between those who voted for and against, Mr Smith would appear to be trying to appeal to those who wished to remain within the Union as well as those who may well regret not having voted or having voted to leave.
With a relatively healthy majority in Parliament, the Conservatives will be able to control the situation with regards to the timing of the decision to leave the European Union and to a great extent a divided and squabbling Labour Party is currently something of an irrelevance as far as governing the country is concerned.