Peter Bowing


Peter Bowing

JEREMY CORBYN’S DECISION to whip the PLP into voting unconditionally for the May government’s hard Brexit was a monumental mistake which will cost socialists dear.

 1. Corbyn aligned Labour alongside the xenophobia which is the cause and effect of Brexit. Many right wing Labour MPs are seemingly happy to accommodate themselves to UKIP’s agenda, but the horror is that Corbyn joined them. His commitment to freedom of movement is dead.

 2. 70% of Labour voters, and an even larger majority of Labour members, voted Remain. The vast bulk of the young left that joined to support Corbyn’s leadership campaigns saw Britain’s future in the EU. Many will now be seeking new political homes. The future for the left in the Party without them is bleak.

 3. Corbyn has lost the chance of building any kind of alliance with other centre and left-leaning parties: the Liberal Democrats, SNP and the Greens. A key element of any working arrangement would have been opposing Brexit and the consequences of Brexit.

 4. Brexit will impede trade. And, as the economic negatives become apparent, Labour will lack any credibility in blaming Theresa May’s hard Brexit on the Tories.

Corbyn led Labour through the Tory lobbies and thus willed the consequences. Corbyn’s tweet "Real fight starts now. Over next two years Labour will use every opportunity to ensure Brexit protects jobs, living standards & the economy" must rank among the most pathetic in modern political history. He has hopelessly mis-analysed the situation, lost friends without finding new ones, and has stained Labour as a progressive movement. But mostly he has hurt the Labour left.