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What are Labour playing at with ambiguous Brexit policy?

By Lewis Goodall, political correspondent
"Nobody is ruling out Remain as an option."
Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, uttered these words, only 24 hours after the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, well, er... ruled out Remain as an option in any second referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.
Although Mr McDonnell rowed back over the course of Monday, this is a pretty startling rebuke to the second most senior figure in the Labour leadership.Even more so when you consider that the line was not in the text of the speech which had been pre-briefed to journalists - Starmer was ad libbing.

At different times, different Labour politicians have pointed in different directions on the Brexit issue.They are acutely conscious of the twin truths that a/ the vast majority of the Labour membership and (to a greater or lesser extent) Labour voters are pro-Remain while b/ the vast majority of Labour constituencies are not.This ambiguity served them well at the general election where, despite a heavy bleeding of working class Leave voters to the Tories, the party kept enough of them to keep nearly all of their Brexit voting seats (though some, such as Mansfield and Stoke South, did turn).Labour was also the recipient of a Remainer wave which delivered seats like Kensington, Canterbury and Warwick.
What are Labour playing at with ambiguous Brexit policy?

Image:
Labour rode a Remainer wave at the last general election

What are Labour playing at with ambiguous Brexit policy?

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That wave has forced the party in an increasingly Remainer direction. The tale of the last year is one of incremental nudges towards a softer and softer Brexit.The party itself has also been agitating heavily for a second vote. Over a hundred constituency Labour parties have endorsed the idea. Key trade unions have come onside, too.
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