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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Labour's dereliction compounds May's humiliation

Just when we needed Her Majesty's Official Opposition to step up  and take responsibility they are nowhere to be found. It is little wonder that former Labour Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has accused his party of a 'dereliction of duty'.

As the Independent reports, Miliband believes that Labour has "no strategy" for Britain's withdrawal from the EU and that the party's failure to back calls for a Final Say on Brexit amounts to a dereliction of duty:

Mr Miliband, a former Labour leadership candidate, told BBC Radio 4 Today: "Labour has got to be much, much stronger. The truth is that waiting for the government to foul up is no strategy at all. The country desperately needs a strong government but it also need a strong opposition.

"Labour's tragedy over 20 years - and I include my own period in this - is that there was almost a complacency about Europe. The Tory tragedy was to be obsessed about Europe and the Labour tragedy was to be complacent about Europe."

He added: "Finally the complacency is breaking, at least at the constituency level of the Labour Party, but it's an absolute dereliction of duty for the Labour Party leadership not to embrace the fundamental principle that since the Brexit that people were sold two years ago is not available, it's essential that the Brexit deal the prime minister does is put to people.

"The most corrosive thing in the long term will be a Brexit on terms that were mis-sold."

Mr Miliband predicted Ms May would "eke out" a "paper-thin deal" with Brussels and then "use the threat of no deal and the disaster that represents to try to bludgeon people to support it".

He said: "No deal is obviously a terrible disaster for the country.

"Theresa May has painted herself and painted the country into a corner. We're now in a situation where the contradictions and the delusions of Brexit are coming home to roost. There is no Brexit where you can have the benefits of the European Union without living by their rules."

Miliband is absolutely right. Labour's spokesperson on Radio 4 did not even confirm that party will vote against the final deal if it does not meet their six tests All she would say is that Labour would not vote for it, leaving open the possibility of an abstention by the official opposition and an exit from the EU with a poor or disastrous deal or even a no deal.

If that happened it would plunge the UK economy into recession, hit our standard of living and lead to thousand of jobs being lost. Corbyn and his leadership team really need to do better. At the moment their fence-sitting is just giving succour to the Tories and UKIP.
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