Labour must accept Brexit – Fabian report

19th September, 2016 11:26 am

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Labour must accept and respect the referendum result, a report laying out how the party should respond to the Brexit result has said.

The report from the Fabian society brings together Labour figures who lay out a “comprehensive Brexit agenda for the left”. Contributors include MPs Angela Eagle, Rachel Reeves, Emma Reynolds, Gisela Stuart, Stephen Kinnock, Iain Wright and Chuka Umunna.

The authors call on Labour to use the Brexit negotiations to renew the left’s purpose,  find new opportunities and get the tactics right in the months to come:

Olivia Bailey, research director at the Fabian Society said “Labour must open its ears to the millions of leave voters who feel left behind and disempowered, and recognise that the party can never win if it only appeals to people who voted remain”.

Emma Reynolds, former shadow Europe Minister, reiterated that Labour must accept the referendum result.

“We should set the government some key tests on immigration and the single market. Above all, we should avoid a “hard Brexit”: an immediate departure from the EU, which would leave the economy in tatters and offer little protection for workers and the environment,” she said.

In an article for LabourList today Reynolds added: “Some called for article 50 to be triggered immediately and others demanded that Parliament should overturn the result. I don’t believe that this is the right approach. I am a passionate pro-European and I campaigned for a remain vote. Leaving the EU is a bitter pill for any pro-European to swallow, but as democrats we have a moral duty to respect the result of the referendum. It would be wrong to ignore it and would further corrode the trust that Labour has already lost with many working-class voters.”

You can access the report ‘Facing the Unknown’ here.

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