Labour's Brexit stance bad?

The party could lose voters because of its position on Brexit

Download Perspecs

Is Labour's stance on Brexit costing them voters?

By Joe Harker

Brexit means Brexit, or perhaps breakfast. We are certain that Brexit will go ahead and it will be a red white and blue Brexit, whatever that is supposed to mean.

Say the word three times in a mirror and David Davis will probably appear asking if the negotiations can skip the boring stuff like citizens' rights and the Irish border and get onto the trade negotiations.

However, the Tories aren't the only ones who have plans to leave the European Union. As the opposition, Labour have to be a government in waiting and challenge the Tories on various parts of the negotiations. Despite this, the party's overall stance on Brexit is somewhat unclear and that could be costing them support in the polls.

The Guardian cites a YouGov poll that shows more than half of Labour voters oppose the party leadership supporting Brexit. Around two thirds of Labour voters chose to remain in the referendum and they could be unhappy if it does not do more to oppose it. The party's stance on Brexit is also unclear as the poll had 31 per cent of voters believing Labour was completely in favour of Brexit and 32 per cent believing it was completely opposed.

Many voters could become disillusioned with the party if they do not make a clear stance opposing Brexit, though Labour are still increasing their portion of the student vote, a demographic that largely supports remaining in the EU. There are other issues besides Brexit and unhappy supporters could still support the party on those policies. If there is not a general election before the UK is scheduled to leave in 2019 then it may cease to be an issue for voters, or it could have completely turned them off the party.

Despite this apparent confusion Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has denied that his party's position on Brexit is unclear and has ruled out the possibility of a second referendum. Without the backing of Labour there is little to no chance of another referendum and Corbyn has been accused by the Liberal Democrats of "nailing his colours to the mast in support of hard Brexit". Corbyn said: "Our position is that we are not advocating a second referendum.

"We have had a referendum which came to a decision. The negotiations are still ongoing, albeit well behind schedule, and we've set out the kind of relationship we want to have with Europe in the future."

Some Labour Councillors have written to Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and asked him to rethink the party's position on the issue. They have asked for Labour to "provide the opportunity for people to change their mind" and support another referendum. As it stands the only check on the final deal of Brexit is a parliamentary vote that Prime Minister Theresa May is being accused of trying to weasel out of. The deal is a "take it or leave it" vote on the final conditions of Brexit that will see MPs choose between the terms agreed upon in the negotiations or a "no deal Brexit". May was recently defeated in the House of Commons as she tried to avoid allowing Parliament a final say on the matter.

Download Perspecs

Labour councillors sign open letter urging party to change its Brexit position

Seventy Labour councillors from south London have signed a letter to the shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, urging a shift in the party's Brexit position.

Although the letter does not explicitly call for a second referendum, it says that Labour should "acknowledge that the electorate may wish to change its mind about Britain's relationship with the EU".

The councillors, who have signed the letter in an individual capacity, are from the London boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham.

The letter says:

"In the boroughs we represent, the reality of Brexit is bleak.

Read Full Article
Download Perspecs