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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pressure on Labour to stop giving succour to the Tories on Brexit

Labour's failure as an opposition on the biggest issue to face the UK since World War 2 will come under scrutiny this weekend as the party gathers in Leeds for their National Policy Forum in which Jeremy Corbyn will address Shadow Cabinet ministers and union officials in a private meeting.

As the Independent reports, Labour has received more than 17,000 emails within five days calling on the party to consult its half a million strong membership on Brexit policy. They say that the email campaign, which has been coordinated by Labour MPs, the pro-EU group Open Britain and the Labour Campaign for the Single Market, demands Labour immediately establishes a dedicated policy commission on Brexit and “ensure its policy is representative of the views of members”:

After the general election, Labour set up eight policy commissions but have received complaints from MPs claiming that none of the commissions focus purely on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

A Labour Party spokesperson said the NPF, however, considers Brexit through the existing policy commissions. “The Commission and wider NPF are looking at Brexit this year in meetings, evidence sessions and by considering all submissions received,” they added.

“There is a Brexit discussion at the meeting this weekend and each of the eight commissions has its own dedicated Brexit representative to ensure work is coordinated across the whole NPF.”

Labour MP Heidi Alexander, a supporter of Open Britain, said the party “cannot keep brushing this under the carpet”, adding: “The fact that more than 17,000 people have been in touch with the party to share their views on Brexit in the last five days alone speaks volume.”

She continued: “Without this campaign, it is genuinely not clear how Labour members, supporters and the public are meant to contribute to the party’s policy making on the biggest issue we face as a country.

The fact is that Labour have been working hand in glove with the Tories to take the UK out of the EU and the single market, against the wishes of the majority of their members and their voters. As a result they have failed to scrutinise the legislation properly and have endangered our economic future.
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