Labour election leaflet fails to offer Brexit vote

Labour election leaflet fails to offer Brexit vote

UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing a backlash within his Labour Party after draft campaign leaflets for May’s European elections suggested the party wanted to press ahead with Brexit. 

Meanwhile, an opinion poll by Brussels estimated remain support eight points ahead of leaving the European Union.

A draft flyer makes no mention of the party’s policy for a people’s vote on Brexit, pointing again to the contradiction between the Eurosceptic leader and the overwhelmingly pro-remain party. 

It was reported that neither the party’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer nor the head of the Labour MEPs, Richard Corbett, were consulted on the leaflet’s content.

Former minister Hilary Benn tweeted: “Labour has twice supported a confirmatory referendum in votes in the House of Commons. It’s our policy. Why isn’t it mentioned in this leaflet?”

The party said the manifesto would be finalised at a meeting of the National Executive Committee on Tuesday.

EU polling suggested 45 per cent of voters would back remain in a people’s vote, compared to 37 per cent who would back leave.

In September the same survey found a stronger remain lead, of 53 to 35 per cent.

The pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph carried an interesting spin on the survey, carrying the headline: “Less than half of Britons would back staying in EU – with no majority for any outcome, poll suggests”. It did mention in the copy that the pro-leave vote trailed by 8 percentage points. 

Around 18 per cent were undecided, according to the European Parliament’s quarterly Eurobarometer survey.

Every EU member state would vote to remain if a referendum was held, the survey guessed.

Wales should hold an independence referendum if Brexit was enforced without a people’s vote, Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said.

People could then choose between an independent Wales at Europe’s “heart” or a “forgotten second-class region in a dying British state”, the party leader said.

The independence call goes beyond his party conference speech last month.

A poll for BBC Wales put support for independence at less than 10 per cent since 2011.

Price said Wales should hold a “new national conversation” about its future whatever happened with Brexit. 

He has demanded European funding for Wales to be guaranteed, cuts in VAT for tourism and construction, the devolution of powers over air passenger duty and control over migration.

“It is broken Westminster, not the EU, which has failed the people of Wales,” Price said.

“I do not believe that the poverty facing our country is inevitable and nor will these problems be fixed by Brexit.

“They will be fixed by taking our future into our own hands and becoming a nation in our own right.”

 

A people’s vote remains the most sensible way out of the Brexit crisis. Picture credit: Eurasia Times 

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