A “LEFT Against Brexit” tour of cities nationwide is to take place this summer, seeking to put pressure on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to back Britain staying in the European Union.
The pro-Remain campaign will be headed up by outgoing Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, transport union TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes, Labour Party activist Michael Chessum, Labour MEP Julie Ward and former shadow Foreign Office minister Catherine West, who was sacked from the front bench last year for defying the whip by voting to remain in the EU single market.
The group argues that Labour should not be bound by the result of the 2016 referendum, which Mr Cortes described as a “right-wing brainchild won — and only narrowly — on a deceitful programme of dog-whistle racism and the big lie that the NHS would get £350 million a week.”
While some pro-EU campaigners have called for a second referendum on membership, Left Against Brexit says Labour should simply commit to stopping Britain’s departure if elected.
Asked why, Mr Cortes told the Morning Star that it would be “unwise” to rule out a second referendum “in the very unlikely event that the Tories manage to negotiate a Brexit deal and remain in government.
“However, our job is to influence what a Jeremy Corbyn-led government does as our overwhelming priority is to get him into No 10.”
But Trade Unions Against the EU national officer Manuel Bueno Del Carpio said that the idea of Labour committing to “overturn the biggest mandate ever given by the British people to all political parties is laughable folly.
“The EU has got worse since we voted to leave and the people even of founding countries like Italy are more opposed to it than ever,” he told the Star. “Trade unionists throughout the continent are battling harder than ever against EU-inspired attacks on collective bargaining and employment rights.”
French President Emmanuel Macron’s assault on rail workers’ terms and conditions is part of plans to prepare state rail operator SNCF for competition, in line with the EU’s Fourth Railway Package.
“We need Labour to win and begin the rebuilding necessary to create full employment unhindered by the EU,” Mr Bueno said.
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