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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Labour's Brexit divisions widen after Lord's vote

Anybody who doubts that Labour is committed to a hard Brexit, which will take the UK out of the single market would soon have been disabused of that uncertainty after last night's vote in the House of Lords.

In an act of craven capitulation, the main opposition party in the UK Parliament discarded its responsibility to oppose and fight for the best interests of the country and voted with the Tories to leave us economically and politically isolated in Europe.

As the Independent reports, peers voted against an amendment to the Brexit Bill demanding the UK retains its membership of the European single market. They add that the 229 to 136 vote, a majority of 163, exposed deep divisions within Labour.

Lord Mandelson and former Neath MP, Lord Hain were the Labour heavyweights pushing for the second chamber to accept the amendment yet they were left high and dry by their own party as the Labour front bench led their peers into the 'no' lobby.

Meanwhile unrest within the Parliamentary Labour Party grew as Jeremy Corbyn failed to attend their weekly meeting. The Independent says that Labour MPs have expressed anger at their leader's non-attendance at a meeting used to dissect the party’s historic loss in Copeland last week, with one accusing the party leader of a “total dereliction of duty”.

They add that frustration was also vented by one MP at the meeting after an image emerged, reportedly showing two of Mr Corbyn’s allies, Diane Abbott and Shami Chakrabarti, enjoying a beverage in Westminster while the meeting was underway.

With Corbyn likely to stay in post, and with his party failing to do its job of opposing the government, it is little wonder that many Labour MPs are angry.
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