Jeremy Corbyn wins vote to make Labour Brexit neutral
While MPs are outraged at parliament being prorogued by Boris Johnson, it has given political parties the time to re-group and define their stance on Brexit, and having seen the chaos caused by in-fighting in the Tory ranks, it is no surprise that Jeremy Corbyn was keen to make his party’s stance, regarding Europe, clear before any imminent general election.
Yesterday, at the party conference in Brighton, a long debate about the pros and cons of becoming the party of remain was held, with clearly opposing positions from those at the top.
Tom Watson, the deputy leader, has already been vocal about his belief that Labour should be the party of remain and had the support of Union leaders, but at the conference yesterday Mr Corbyn won a vote for his preference, which was to fight a general election on the basis that the party would negotiate a new Brexit deal and subsequently hand that deal back to the people in a second referendum.
Many party grandees were exasperated and hostile to the concept, believing that in essence this made Labour a Brexit neutral party that would be unpopular with the electorate.
Now that Boris Johnson has taken his party to the far-right of politics and with that is even proposing to take the UK out of the EU without a deal, and the Liberal Democrats have positioned themselves clearly as the party of remain, it is felt by Labour dissenters that the neutrality opted for by conference yesterday, will simply not resolve the burning issue of Brexit, but will prolong it. At a time when the electorate are baying for certainty and clarity, it is felt that Corbyn’s position is simply too flabby.
There would certainly been relief among Jo Swinson’s Lib Dems that Labour would not split the remain vote in a general election and Tories were happy that Labour would be seen as wishy-washy.
How the fervent remainers will now settle down in a party that is advocating neutrality is yet to be seen. It may well be that in the same way that the Tories experienced a leakage of MPs to the Lib Dems, that Labour may experience the same.
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