No, Gina Miller – you are not doing the Labour Party's job for them

Approximately 37 per cent of Labour supporters voted to leave the EU in the referendum. On the flip side, the top four constituencies that supported remain were Labour seats. This is the paradox of the Labour supporter that Jeremy Corbyn has to try and pander to

Click to follow

Gina Miller, the businesswoman and philanthropist behind the Supreme Court case that forced Theresa May to seek parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50, has made a fictitious claim that she is doing the “job of the Opposition” and that it is a “disgrace”.

In a wide ranging interview with the International Business Times, the former model and “history geek” has launched a scathing attack on the Labour Party, saying that “they’ve got to get over themselves” and that she has “got enough on [her] plate” to do Labour’s job for them as well: “when you don't have an effective opposition that's not a democracy”.

The 51 year old investment manager, who also launched an attack on the “elite, self-interested, conflicted wealthy class”, was victorious in her legal battle but was adamant that her case was by no means an attempt to overrule the result of the referendum – she claims that she was simply trying to defend the power of Parliament.

Miller even went as far as saying “we are all leavers now” and said she respects the will of the people.

Although Miller’s court case was undoubtedly heroic, by no means has she adopted the role of Her Majesty’s Opposition. In fact, her stance on Brexit, which appears to be that she supported Remain, has now accepted the referendum result and wants a fair, balanced and legal divorce from the EU – is more or less identical to the stance Labour has taken.

Not only does Miller’s claim tactfully ignore the similarities in her position to Jeremy Corbyn’s, it also disregards the difficult position the party is in when it comes to Brexit. Gina Miller is one person – the Labour Party has been elected into power to represent its constituents up and down the country. It is rather egotistical of Miller to even consider that she has the same level of responsibility as an elected member of Parliament. She is accountable only to herself – while many Labour MPs are conflicted over Brexit based on the diversity of their constituent bases.

Approximately 37 per cent of Labour supporters voted leave in the referendum, meaning Labour has supporters on both sides of the spectrum. In the constituencies of Kingston-upon Hull and Doncaster North, roughly 68 per cent voted to leave the EU. On the flip side, the top four constituencies that supported remain were Labour seats. This is the paradox of the Labour supporter that Jeremy Corbyn has to try and pander to. 

Gina Miller reveals shocking abuse since launching Article 50 Brexit legal challenge

It is incredibly difficult to appeal to both sides – but that is exactly what Labour must try to do. The Tories now occupy the Leave territory, the Liberal Democrats the Remain and therefore Labour must stay in that murky middle ground and hope to steal votes from both sides.

To do so, the party needs to continue pushing for compromises from Theresa May and spin them off as huge victories.

Labour has already forced the Tories to make important concessions in the Brexit Bill and crucially pushed for a vote on the draft withdrawal deal before the European Parliament and council. That is the type of thing Labour must continue to do and it fits perfectly with their electoral strategy. 

The battle is not about whether or not Britain leaves the EU – it is about how Britain does so. Labour must accept the result of the referendum and understand and accept public sentiment – therefore fighting off the threat from Ukip. It must also attempt to put pressure on the Government to ensure we keep the more positive aspects of EU membership – thus fighting off the threat from the Liberal Democrats.

Finally, it must also show that the Tories are doing a terrible job of the Brexit negotiations and prove them to be incompetent. 

Although finding the right balancing act for all three of these things is near enough impossible, Labour simply must find a way to do so – or the party will be in serious trouble. Then maybe Gina Miller can claim that she’s doing their job for them.