Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Where does Labour stand on Brexit?

I have lost count of the number of Labour U-Turns since the referendum about whether, when and how Britain should leave the European Union.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a lifelong Eurosceptic and often gives the impression of wanted a "hard Brexit." Earlier this year he issued a "whip" ordering Labour MPs to vote against membership of the EU single market and sacked Labour front-benchers who voted for it.

However, most of the parliamentary Labour party including some on the left are pro-Remain or at least supporters of a "softer" Brexit and Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer gives the impression that Labour policy is to stay in the single market and customs union.

The result has been utter confusion - on week Labour is ruling out a second referendum, another week they are not ruling it out, one week they want to Britain to stay in the sinvle market and customs union, then they don't.

Of course, most parties are divided about Britain's relations with Europe, I am merely making the point that it's far from obvious that the Labour opposition is any less divided than the Conservative government.

There is a good piece by Dan Hodges who is a former Labour and Trade Union official (though not a supporter of the party at the moment under Corbyn) which you can read here.

Dan reckons that Jeremy Corbyn is about to betray Labour Remain supporters.

It is of course also possible that Labour may betray Labour Leave supporters.

Or they may continue to court both right up to the next election and not make up their mind what to do until and unless they find themselves in power.

The one thing you can be certain about is that it would be very difficult for a Labour government to keep faith with both groups.

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