Corbyn set to promote Brexit plan at European election campaign launch

Sienna Rodgers

Jeremy Corbyn will today launch Labour’s European election campaign in Kent, where he is set to promote his alternative plan for Brexit and blame the current “deadlock” on the government.

“No one expected us to be holding these European elections, but the government’s complete failure on Brexit means they are going ahead,” the Labour leader will say. “While the government’s incompetence and division on Brexit has created this deadlock, the injustices in our society are deepening. “

Labour’s European manifesto, Transforming Britain and Europe: for the many not the few, lays out plans to tackle tax avoidance, environmental harm and the far right across the continent.

It will come under significant scrutiny following an internal row over whether the party should commit to backing another referendum in any situation, which nearly half of its MEP candidates have agreed to do.

Ultimately, Labour’s ruling body approved a commitment to support another public vote – but only if the opposition cannot secure changes to the current Brexit deal or force a general election, in line with the policy made by conference.

Speaking at the University of Kent this morning, Corbyn is expected to highlight Labour’s core message that the “real divide” in the UK is between “the many and the few” rather than Remainers and Leavers.

“Whether you’re from Tottenham or Mansfield, Stockwell or Stoke, here in Medway or in Manchester, so many of the problems you face are the same… Labour is the only party with a plan to unite our country to make it work for the many not the few,” the Labour leader will say.

“Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit, which protects jobs, living standards and communities, would end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.”

The launch will take place in Medway, Kent, where the party gained four seats in the recent local elections. The neighbouring district of Gravesham, taken by Labour from Conservatives who had experienced deep divisions locally, was a key victory last week.

Speaking in an area where 64% voted to Leave in 2016, Corbyn intends to explain Labour’s main objective: to reach across the Brexit divide and bring voters together, alienating neither side of the debate.

After making it clear that Labour has its own Brexit plan, Corbyn will say: “But we can never accept the government’s bad deal or a disastrous no deal. So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan, or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.

“Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people, ending austerity, and creating a fairer society. So whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour, the party that is determined to bring the many together and take on the entrenched power of the few.”

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