A survey by YouGov, released before Unite’s annual conference this week shows that most of the union’s members back giving the UK a vote on any deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels according to a shock poll. Unite are the biggest financial backers of the Labour Party and this is set to heap even more pressure on the Labour Leadership.
According to the report in the left leaning Guardian: The YouGov poll, commissioned by the People’s Vote Campaign, found that Unite members believed by a margin of more than three to one (57% to 18%) that leaving the single market would be bad for jobs. When asked if they believed Britain would be worse off outside the single market, 58% said it would, while 21% took the opposite view. Some 57% of the 913 Unite members questioned backed a people’s vote on the final outcome against 34% who did not, and 24% of those who voted Leave backed giving the people another say.
Corbyn maintains that he is determined to pursue a “jobs-first Brexit”. But the polling suggests many in the union movement now think his policy will have the opposite effect. Labour is proposing a new relationship with the single market that it says would give the UK access but fall short of full membership. The model has been dismissed by Brussels as unrealistic as it tries to keep all the advantages without having to comply with the EU’s four freedoms, including free movement of workers.
West Midlands car workers have submitted a motion to the Unite conference next week saying: “Only now have voters started to see through the initial referendum campaigns and truly understand the implications and costs of leaving the EU. The final negotiations of UK Brexit terms cannot be left for parliament alone to agree upon because the facts presented to the voting public have changed so much since the referendum vote. The British electorate must ultimately have the final say.”
Baroness Margaret Prosser, a senior Labour figure said: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Tory government is hell-bent on a bad Brexit deal for British workers that will damage jobs, public services and the future of young people. We are already seeing worrying signs about the impact on Airbus, carmakers and other key sectors of the economy. In these circumstances, workers look to our union to stand up for their interests.”
This also comes as hard left Momentum also now is set to back the calls for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.A senior figure within Momentum said: “There are people who want to keep the strategic ambiguity, there is a fear that if we are pushed too far on this it could screw up Labour’s electoral chances. It’s possible that there could be an electoral route through being pro-Remain and that wouldn’t lose us votes, but it could be a risk.”
Alena Ivanova, who is a Momentum member started a petition by Momentum calling for a second vote on Brexit and it has received 2,600 signatures. Only 1,400 more are needed to push the vote through which is around 10% of Momentum supporters.
Another Momentum activist said: “The overwhelming majority of Labour members are both supporters of Mr Corbyn and opponents of a Tory Brexit until now we have been shut out of the debate.”
Corbyn himself was previously known as being very anti-EU for its lack of democracy such were staunch left wingers like Tony Benn and Michael Foot. It now appears the Labour Party may be prepared to put the chance of power in front of the wishes of the people of the country.
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