Nobody knows what Labour’s stance on Brexit is. They just used their conference in Liverpool over the weekend to try and clarify it, but I still don’t have a bloody clue what they stand for.
Some of the leadership is pro-Brexit, but secretly. Much of the leadership is pro-Remain, openly. Many of the members are pro-Remain, many of the members are so pro-Remain they want a second referendum that includes the option to cancel Brexit, and even some of their membership now want a second referendum that focuses only on the kind of Brexit we have.
Well, consider the fact that most of their voters – who make up a large proportion of the 52% who voted Brexit back in 2016 – are quite openly pro-Brexit, and it all gets even more confusing.
This party doesn’t know what it stands for, and it’s clear there is a great divide. Dennis Skinner was visibly displeased when Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, said that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of remaining in the European Union.
I think it's fair to say Dennis Skinner was unimpressed by Sir Keir Starmer's talk of the option of Remaining in the EU... pic.twitter.com/67g9Drj8AQ— Jonathan Isaby (@isaby) September 25, 2018
Skinner is one of the most principled Labour Members of Parliament they’ve ever had, and he shows how this party has become so disconnected from the working class.
Starmer received a standing ovation from the Labour Party conference when he said “nobody is ruling out remain.” This is serious, too – Starmer isn’t a nobody. He would be in charge of the Brexit negotiations if a General Election were held and Labour won. Something that, amazingly, isn’t entirely impossible.
There seems to also be a disconnect between the Labour Party and the unions. Can they get anything right?
Just the other day, Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, supported the idea of a second referendum that excluded an option to remain in the EU. Steve Turner, assistant general secretary from Unite, reconfirmed this after Starmer’s speech, saying a referendum must just be a vote “on the terms of our departure.”
Can Labour make up its mind?