Corbyn’s approach to Brexit risks alienating the enthusiastic young backers of a year ago

Corbyn’s approach to Brexit risks alienating the enthusiastic young backers of a year ago

But there are no signs that he cares

The above article is one of a number that have been appearing recently from people who backed Corbyn’s LAB at GE2017 about his approach to Brexit. In many ways why should they be surprised because the manifesto on which the party fought the election was explicit. Labour was for Brexit.

    One of the paradoxes of the surprise failure of TMay to retain the CON majority and the Labour recovery was that the party’s position on leaving the EU was totally at odds with a large proportion of those who voted for it – particularly the young.

We see in the consistency of responses of GE2017 LAB voters to the regular YouGov tracker that about 70% of them think that voting to leave the EU was wrong yet team Corbyn/Milne/McDonnell are pursuing a very different course.

The question is whether the red team can continue with their approach while retaining the voters of 2017. This from Rosie McKenna should be concerning the party.

“I’m a working class kid from a council estate, so Jeremy Corbyn’s promises and policies really spoke to me; the importance of a welfare state taking care of the most disadvantaged in society, funding for our national health service, and ensuring that education is free and accessible to all. They still do.

And yet. Young people like me have never been more disappointed in, and let down by the Labour party than we have post-Brexit. My generation voted overwhelmingly and enthusiastically to Remain – by margins of 4 to 1. We don’t just see the EU as a necessary evil, but a fundamental good. A champion for peace, prosperity and freedom of movement in a continent too often scarred by war and inequality.

Because let me be clear: there is nothing socialist about Brexit. The Labour party – my Labour party – shouldn’t be championing a right-wing Tory Brexit..”

Is pressure going to make a difference? I doubt it. Corbyn has had a fixed view for decades and on this we have learned is that he doesn’t change his mind.

The questions are whether, when and where this is going to have an impact electorally. The failure of the party to gain a council in London on May 4th has been put down to the antisemitism issue which might be masking supporters concerns about Brexit policy.

Lewisham could be interesting.

Mike Smithson

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