Jeremy Corbyn is ignoring Labour’s grassroots on Brexit

Most Labour members & voters support Remain & a People’s Vote

London, UK – 1 May 2019


When Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, he promised a new kind of politics – listening to and empowering the members and supporters. No more Blair-style top-down policy-making, he said.

Now, when the vast majority of Labour members and supporters back Remain and a Peoples Vote, he’s trying to facilitate Brexit with Theresa May. Although he is open to a People’s Vote, he comes across as lukewarm, not enthusiastic. It is not his priority.

I want a left-wing Labour government but fear the party leadership is throwing away that opportunity. Various polls show Labour either trailing, level-pegging or only just ahead of the Tories – not enough to win a general election. The party’s de facto support for Brexit and its failure to clearly back a People’s Vote is losing it support when Labour should be 30 points ahead of Theresa May, given the Tory shambles and splits, the damage caused by austerity and continued gross social inequalities.

 Let’s look at the facts:

72% of Labour members back a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal. 88% support remaining in the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn, who I want to see as PM, is ignoring them by seeking to negotiate a Brexit deal with the Tory leadership. His bid to facilitate Brexit puts him objectively on the same side as Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson and assorted racists, xenophobes and Little Englanders. This is not a left-wing stance. By default, though not by intention, Labour’s position colludes with the far right. They will claim a massive victory if Brexit goes through.

Labour voters in previous pro-Leave areas now support Remain by a margin of more than three to one: 69% now back Remain rather than Brexit.

Over 1.4m Labour voters that voted Leave in the 2016 referendum have now switched in favour of staying in the EU. A majority of Labour voters now back Remain.

Among Labour supporters, a People’s Vote second referendum is massively popular, with 77% in favour and just 23% against. Even most Labour Leave voters back a people’s vote, by 56-44%.

YouGov asked people how they would vote if Labour supported going ahead with Brexit. Labour would slump to third place in a general election, with a mere 22% of the vote – the biggest rout for Labour for a century.