Senior MPs must get outside ‘bubble’ and see for themselves – and then commit to campaigning for Labour Brexit deal
Three polls in quick succession – each giving more than 50% of the general election vote to Brexit parties – have shown the damage being done by Labour acceding to centrist demands to tack further to remain on a new referendum.
Blocking Johnson’s ‘no deal’ is the right thing to do – but voters in Labour’s leave areas need an absolutely clear message that the party will honour its 2017 manifesto promise to respect the referendum result and deliver Brexit.
Any of Labour’s front-benchers pushing for a remain tack in Labour’s next manifesto need – as a matter of the highest priority – to get out, right now, to at least one hundred ‘Labour leave’ constituencies and talk to voters in those areas. They won’t have to talk to many before the realise the reality – if they’re prepared to listen.
And then every one of them needs to come back and commit Labour’s position for the coming general election to campaigning for a Labour leave deal. Achieving that deal will be the easy part, as senior EU figures have already welcomed Corbyn’s idea of a UK-wide customs union and no need for an ‘Irish backstop’.
The minds and hearts of voters wavering from their usual Labour habit in the north and Wales can be drawn back – but it will take the boldness of an unequivocal commitment to a Labour path out of the European Union, while of course maintaining close relations, to do it.
Those voters know that a continued Johnson government will be a disaster – but many feel their 2016 vote has been despised and discounted by ‘hard remainers’ and the disdain for their decision strikes an even more instinctive chord.
Labour’s senior representatives owe it to them and to democracy to get out and talk to them. Right now.
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