Costly Brexit support of UK Labor leader
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused of betrayal on second poll and faces Labour critics over backing Brexit.
In a sign that he is losing backing among overwhelmingly pro-Remain Labour supporters, Corbyn was also accused of betraying the party membership by appearing reluctant to back the idea of supporting Remain in a second referendum.
Richard Brooks, a Labour member, activist and co-founder of 'For our Future’s Sake' (FFS), a pro-Remain youth and student-led organization, said Corbyn risked losing the backing of young people as well as the mass Labour membership he had promised to empower.
"Jeremy Corbyn is in danger of betraying and losing the support of millions of young people and students who very nearly propelled him to Downing Street last year, and whose support he needs if he is to ever to become prime minister", said Books adding: “Students and young people will not forget or forgive politicians who sell them down the river by backing a Brexit that limits our life opportunities and makes us poorer.”
Labour MPs Michael Chessum who back Remain said they were planning to issue a statement within days insisting that the leadership must take its lead from members over Brexit, and be ready to campaign for Remain in a second referendum if the party cannot force a general election.
Chessum, who worked on Corbyn’s 2016 leadership campaign and served on Momentum’s first steering committee, said: "Real movements need internal democracy and leaderships that respect the mandates they are given. Jeremy has fought for decades for the right of members to decide policy, and that is why many of us fought for him so hard."
Pro-remain Labour MPs also tore into Corbyn. Pat McFadden, a former Labour business minister, said: “It would be a tragedy if Jeremy Corbyn facilitated Brexit and continued his lifelong hostility to the European Union the basis of his views of the state-aid rules. There are plenty of EU member states with state-owned industries and with different tax and spend policies from those followed by the Tory government. It would not be the EU that would stop a Labour government regenerating the United Kingdom, but the economic damage brought about by Brexit that he may yet enable.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May in December 12 won a confidence vote from her party but 117 of her lawmakers said she was no longer the right leader to implement Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The idea of keeping Britain in a permanent customs union was narrowly defeated in a vote in the summer, but some figures who voted against it then are now reconsidering as Britain’s formal EU exit looms. While the move would go a long way to solving some of the trade barriers created by a hard Brexit, it would also end the prospect of Britain striking its own trade deals with other countries.
Brexit is Britain’s most significant political and economic decision since World War Two. Pro-Europeans fear the departure will weaken the West as it grapples with the US presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China. 208/103