Labour backs Remain all over the United Kingdom - GulfToday

Labour backs Remain all over the United Kingdom

Brexit Remain

Jeremy Corbyn addresses an event in London stating why he wants Britain to remain in the EU. Reuters

Anna McMorrin and Paul Sweeney, The Independent

Day two of conference in sunny Brighton, and UK Labour’s Brexit policy is about to be decided. Tonight is the important composite meeting, where the final text of Labour’s policy will be decided upon by delegates ahead of Monday’s crucial vote.

UK Labour must join the view of the devolved nations and commit to an unambiguous stance to campaign for Remain.

With three of the four nations already declaring they will do just that, the pressure is intensified. Both Welsh and Scottish Labour Parties are united behind opposing Brexit entirely, and both the Labour Party in Northern Ireland and the Labour Irish Society have submitted motions calling for Remain. This essentially means that Labour is already committed to campaigning for Remain, with the exception of the party in England.

Day two of conference in sunny Brighton, and UK Labour’s Brexit policy is about to be decided. Tonight is the important composite meeting, where the final text of Labour’s policy will be decided upon by delegates ahead of Monday’s crucial vote.

UK Labour must join the view of the devolved nations and commit to an unambiguous stance to campaign for Remain.

With three of the four nations already declaring they will do just that, the pressure is intensified. Both Welsh and Scottish Labour Parties are united behind opposing Brexit entirely, and both the Labour Party in Northern Ireland and the Labour Irish Society have submitted motions calling for Remain. This essentially means that Labour is already committed to campaigning for Remain, with the exception of the party in England.

While Labour does not stand candidates in Northern Ireland, Labour members there submitted a motion to conference which states: “Any form of Brexit threatens jobs, workers’ rights, migrants, the NHS, public services and the environment, and makes it harder to deliver a radical manifesto.”

Meanwhile, the Labour Party Irish Society, an influential affiliated socialist society, has also submitted a motion to the conference calling on Labour “to show solidarity with the people of Northern Ireland and protect the Good Friday Agreement by opposing any Brexit deal and make campaigning to remain in the EU a manifesto commitment.”

Up to now, the party in England has lagged behind. But at conference, it can — and must — catch up. Over 90 motions have been submitted across the UK, and 90 per cent of these are for a clear Remain stance. Party members are no less pro-Remain in England than elsewhere, and there is a real anti-Brexit buzz around conference in Brighton, with “Labour Can Stop Brexit” and “Remain, Reform, Revolt” tote bags at every turn.

This year’s conference is critical. It takes place on the eve of a general election, and we cannot go into that election with a different position in England to elsewhere. We need to go into the election united in our Brexit position — both united in terms of having the policy our members and voters want, and in having a consistent policy across the UK.

To go into the most important election in living memory without clarity and consistency on the biggest political issue of the day would send a mixed message to voters in Scotland and Wales, with UK Labour contradicting the position they hear from their own Labour parties. Just as working-class communities in England need a Labour government in Westminster, people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also desperately need change. Across the UK, people have been hit by a decade of austerity and face even more destruction in their communities with the threat of Brexit. Getting a Labour government into power, to reverse a decade of economic and social vandalism under the Tories, has never been more vital.

But just as we have a unified position against austerity and for public investment to revitalise our communities, we also need a unified position on Brexit to cut through the media noise and communicate our politics effectively. Only by doing this will we be able to move on to our radical domestic agenda.