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How ultra-remainers could score a spectacular own goal on Brexit

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In three weeks’ time, it is entirely plausible that Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will triumph in the European parliamentary elections. It will be the greatest victory for bigotry in politics since the EU referendum campaign; it will be a shot in the arm for the Tory hard Brexiteers, emboldening them and providing them with renewed legitimacy; it will damage the chances of a soft Brexit; and it will inflict probably terminal harm on any prospect of a second referendum. Preventing this completely and utterly inarguable outcome should – you would think – preoccupy every single remainer and every single self-declared opponent of Tory rule. It doesn’t, because for the “stop Brexit or bust” brigade, punishing Labour for failing to repudiate a referendum that it lost less than three years ago is all that apparently matters in politics – and if the country burns as a consequence, then so be it.

Yesterday, Labour’s national executive committee reaffirmed the party’s position on Brexit: that is, it would prioritise a general election to remove the Tories from power, and if that wasn’t possible, it would “support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote”. This isn’t controversial, you would think: it would be odd for the NEC to usurp the decision of the party’s sovereign body, and – until now – the conference policy has been lauded by advocates of a second referendum. Yet for the monomaniacal ultra-remainers – who treat those of us who campaigned and voted for........

© The Guardian