A pro-EU group’s attempt to influence candidate selection has cast doubt on Sir Keir Starmer’s claim that Labour would “make Brexit work” rather than return.
Conservative MPs cautioned that a “hardline pro EU group” actions cast doubt on Sir Keir Starmer’s promise not to overturn Brexit in government. The Labour Movement for Europe (LME), “the pro-EU society affiliated to Labour,” is campaigning to elect politicians who favour rejoining in target seats.
Former Labour cabinet minister Douglas Alexander is to run in East Lothian, which Labour controlled until the 2019 election. LME has backed him.
Labour’s Stella Creasy chairs LME.
She wrote for the New European last year that LME should not concentrate on rejoining “at this time…not least because it is unclear why any of our European partners would expend the energy and effort required to negotiate after their experience of Brexit” but did not rule it out as a long-term aim.
LME has worked to ensure Labour rejects Brexit chances like cutting EU red tape.
LME’s website says: “Our membership of the European Union was a proven engine for progress and social justice for the people of the UK. The EU is a bulwark against regressive governments, and over-mighty corporations – yet also an imperfect institution for which further reform is always necessary and possible.”
Conservative Brexiteers and Red Wall MPs said LME’s decision would guarantee a Labour government will re-enter the EU.
Rees-Mogg said: “Entryism is not a new problem for the Labour Party. Once again extremists are taking it over to stop the leader’s policy. Sir Keir is not in charge the remainiacs are.”
European Research Group (ERG) chairman Mark Francois said: “The default setting of most Labour MPs is they are already Remainers at heart.
“I well remember Keith Starmer, calling for a second referendum in Parliament, night after night, because he couldn’t stand the result of the first one – and now Labour seem set to select a bunch of candidates who are even more ardent Remainers than him.
“Whether you are in the Red Wall, or the Blue Wall or just driven up the wall by them, you can’t trust Labour on Brexit!”
The recent Techne UK tracker poll by the Express showed Labour with a 21-point lead over the Conservatives, giving them the power to pass anything they want.
A Labour/SNP rejoiner combination may return the UK to Brussels control even with a Tory comeback.
Jonathan Gullis, Stoke North Conservative MP, said: “This proves what we have known about Labour and Sir Kier Starmer all along, they haven’t suddenly converted to be pro Brexit, instead they just want to try and find ways to rejoin via the backdoor. It’s just the same old remoaner Labour.”
MP Marco Longhi of Dudley North stated: “For all his parading as a hybrid Tory, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer will not cut through when people can see that all around him is the same old socialist-EU Rejoiner mob.
“The ‘Labour Movement for Europe’ is a self-declared socialist Rejoiner hardline movement who are now making sure that pro rejoin candidates are selected for the next election.
“Labour have no care about democracy, and like the SNP in Scotland they want to ignore the stated democratic will of the people.”
Lee Anderson, Blue Collar Movement chairman and Conservative Ashfield MP, added: “Labour tried this tactic last time in places like Ashfield, Mansfield and in many Red Wall areas and look what happened.
“Sir Kier might think he is clever pretending he now supports Brexit but I suspect he secretly supports the selection of pro-remain candidates who will stop at nothing to drag us back into the EU.”
Brendan Clarke Smith, Bassetlaw Conservative MP: “The hardline Rejoiner movement are clearly wasting no time in getting their people to infiltrate Labour’s candidates list, in very much the same way Momentum did in 2019. You can’t trust Labour to respect Brexit, which even most original remain supporters now accept and want to make a success of.”
Sir Keir announced a five-point strategy to make Brexit succeed in a speech last year.
He stated: “Let me be very clear: with Labour, Britain will not go back into the EU. We will not be joining the single market. We will not be joining a customs union.
“The reason I say this is simple. Nothing about revisiting those rows will help stimulate growth or bring down food prices or help British business thrive in the modern world.”