The leading Party in opposition has offered a firm answer to a catastrophe that has snowballed over three years. Jeremy Corbyn has promised to deliver Brexit on the basis of a second referendum to go back to the people, with a soft Labour Brexit compromise and remain being the options on the ballot. Whatever the nation decides — Brexit or not — will be the conclusion to a debacle that has wreaked havoc across Britain.
Corbyn has not only promised to respect the result of 2016 by negotiating with EU leaders for a soft Brexit, but he also asks for confirmation from the electorate after three years of grave failures from Westminster. During the pending second referendum, Corbyn has vowed to stay neutral to avoid haemorrhaging votes from anguished Leavers or Remainers. With the Tories in utter turmoil, the only credible appeal to placate disillusioned voters is for a Labour-led government to take over.
Since the Leave campaign won the referendum in 2016, Labour’s forever-changing Brexit stance and Corbyn’s ambiguity has faced ridicule from their critics in the media and the public sphere. Now that Corbyn has fully pledged a viable alternative to a Conservative-fronted saga, there is still a sense of disbelief amongst the pundit class on what the party’s Brexit status actually means.
To many Corbynistas, this is just using another accessible excuse to undermine and devalue a future Corbyn premiership wherever possible.
Corbyn’s chant for neutrality whilst his Party colleagues and members battle it out on both sides of the aisle has been rebuked by his most prominent critics. What Corbyn is attempting is the same as his predecessor as Labour leader, Harold Wilson, who stood neutral as PM whilst his MPs favoured and opposed the commons market referendum of 1975.
Furthermore, the Conservative Party from its headquarters set a neutral tone whilst influential figures in Westminster fought for both Leave and Remain three years ago. But, of course, commentators deem it absolutely unacceptable for Corbyn to do the same. What can we expect from a leader who holds diehard remain seats in London’s metropolitan area alongside hardcore leave constituencies of northern England?
The likes of Newcastle, Yorkshire and the northern Welsh heartlands have traditionally voted Labour for decades. Corbyn cannot afford to lose Labour seats that have counted on left-wing activism to help fight the corners of their working-class communities.
It has been estimated that, out of the 12 million voters who turned to Labour in the last snap election, 8 million were remain voters in contrast to the 4 million who voted leave. Although Remainers double that of their Leave counterparts who support Labour, Corbyn must search for defectors within both the Conservative and Brexit parties with his soft Brexit proposal.
Jeremy Corbyn, if soon to be elected prime minister, has promised to deliver an EU exit in respect of the initial referendum result. A lifelong Eurosceptic, it should be no surprise that Corbyn may discreetly wish to withdraw from the ardent capitalist make-up of the European bloc.
To hold on to his support from the Remain activists in his camp, he outlines a second referendum plan so voters across the nation can make a wholehearted final decision after gross incompetency from consecutive Tory governments.
The only way to break the deadlock is for the current Party in government to step aside, and give the British people a fresh outlook on Brexit. Recently, EU chiefs dealing with the Brexit negotiations have outlined their preference for a Labour Brexit compared to the toxicity that surrounds a Tory one.
Excuses and sheer ignorance in understanding Corbyn’s Brexit position must end. To move forward on a transformative domestic agenda, Brexit must be finalised so the media and the politicians can focus on domestic issues. The only way to end the Brexit impasse is for Corbyn take hold of power and run a people-powered Downing Street for the many and not the few.
First published for Backbench U.K.