Brexit divisions run deeper in Labour than in the Conservative Party, says Rory Broomfield.

This week was a typical “will they, won’t they?” ordeal with the Labour Party. On Sunday, the front bench announced they were to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union and, on the Tuesday, the Unions and some of their backbenchers asked them to think again. By Wednesday, John McDonnell – who had previously said that Labour would leave the Single Market – said that the party had not ruled out a soft Brexit.

Confused? The truth is that the Labour movement is split – and the honeymoon period for Corbyn is waning.

Just how divided both the movement and the party is will be tested at their conference later on this year, where policies will be debated and putsches will be attempted.

The latest division over leaving the Single Market demonstrates that for many years the Labour Party was not as united as they wished to make out. Indeed, they chose the tactic of not speaking and / or debating the topic of ‘Europe’, letting the Conservative Party “bang on” about it instead. This covered up the divisions among both the party and the movement’s core objectives with regards to the EU. Blair, when PM, could silence his detractors on the backbenches with his huge majorities; Corbyn has seemingly only been able to do so for a limited period of time.

The involvement of the Unions backing the Single Market is a really interesting development. It doesn’t just mean potential trouble for the party’s policy, but also for the party’s finances. There could very well come a point when they back the Blairite Chuka Umanna over Corbyn – which would be a radical change to the status quo.

Nonetheless, there is a genuine sense that the unions are becoming the ultimate remoaners and, joining with the Blairite factions in the media and elsewhere, could pose a threat to the Government’s policy on Brexit.

We have been ‘promised’ as summer of activism from Momentum etc. in an effort to oust the Trade Unions. Bizarrely, the Single Market seems to be an area that the Blairites and the Unions agree on.
What is odd is that the unions argue the Single Market is crucial for ensuring workers’ rights. This is surprising given that many in the Labour left feel the EU helped liberalise UK working practices. After all, zero hours contracts were allowed at the EU level.

In order to stop them gaining traction and derailing the process of a full Brexit, The Freedom Association and its Better Off Out campaign this week launched the Stop Blair Campaign. This has a specific desire to raise funds to break the negative media narrative around leaving the EU and continuing to persuade the British public that they made the right choice in putting confidence in their country over that of Brussels.

If you’d like to help us raise funds to ensure the full Brexit does happen, please donate through our website. Hopefully, we can stop the anti-Brexit Blairites and Union paymasters gaining both traction and influence.

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