Labour Grassroots Pile Pressure On Jeremy Corbyn To Back Remain

Almost 300 constituency Labour parties to debate supporting revoking Article 50 "if necessary".
PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn has come under further pressure to adopt a more pro-Remain position, as the party’s grassroots stepped up its campaign to force his hand.

At least 287 local Labour parties are set to debate changing their policy to “campaign energetically for a public vote and to Remain” and to “support revoking Article 50 if necessary to prevent no-deal”.

A motion backing the change could be submitted to Labour’s annual conference in September if the leadership does not shift position over the summer.

HuffPost UK understands that John McDonnell, Richard Burgon and Barry Gardiner all called for a stronger stance.

The Labour leader told the meeting it was “right to demand any deal is put to a public vote”.

And he said any referendum would have to offer “real choices for both Leave and Remain”.

Corbyn has not committed to campaign for Remain and said he would be consulting with trade unions before announcing any shift in position.

The conference motion due to be debated by constituency Labour parties (CLPs) across the country was drafted by the Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour groups.

Ana Oppenheim, from Another Europe is Possible, said “equivocating now is just delaying the inevitable”.

“Labour cannot satisfy everyone on Brexit, and triangulating is losing us voters on both sides,” she said.

“We don’t have to back Leave, or sit on the fence, to win over Leave voters. The whole point of the radical left is that we can offer real serious alternatives to the narratives of the pro-Brexit establishment. Massive public investment, boosted workers’ rights and higher wages - that’s what will win back our heartlands. And that’s what must be at the heart of our anti-Brexit campaign - stop Brexit fix Britain instead.”

Labour’s poor results in May’s European elections and the surge in support for the pro-EU Lib Dems has led many in the party to warn the party will be heading for an electoral hammering at the next election unless it stops sitting on the fence on Brexit.

But a group of Labour MPs opposed to another referendum warned him any so-called People’s Vote would be “toxic” for the party.

“Rejecting any Brexit in the hope of securing a perfect deal risks the worst outcome – a no-deal Brexit – giving the populist right an even greater platform in our heartlands,” more than 25 MPs wrote in a letter to Corbyn.


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