Labour’s Smeeth says ‘outside London people prefer No Deal’ Brexit
‘Outside London people prefer No Deal’: Labour MP Ruth Smeeth says the country needs a ‘deal that works’ to combat the popularity of leaving without one on October 31 as Labour war over Brexit goes on
- Mrs Smeeth’s Stoke-On-Trent constituency voted 69 per cent to Leave in 2016
- She said Westminster was doing nothing to combat No Deal disinformation
- Labour is bitterly divided over whether to support a second referendum
Mrs Smeeth, 40, whose Stoke-On-Trent constituency voted 69 per cent to Leave in 2016, said ‘all sanity has gone out of the window’ with Westminster doing nothing to help combat disinformation about No Deal
A Labour MP in northern Leave-backing seat has blasted London-based Remainers saying that people outside the capital would prefer a No Deal Brexit and urging politicians find ‘a deal that works’.
Ruth Smeeth said that three quarters of the post she receives from voters was from people wanting to leave unilaterally, saying people were unaware of the damage that would do.
Mrs Smeeth, 40, whose Stoke-On-Trent constituency voted 69 per cent to Leave in 2016, said ‘all sanity has gone out of the window’ with Westminster doing nothing to help combat disinformation about No Deal.
It came as Labour continued to be bitterly divided over whether to support a second referendum on Brexit or a deal to get the UK out.
Union kingpin Len McCluskey yesterday attacked the ‘well-funded Remain lobby’, saying it was as responsible as the Tories for creating a ‘toxic situation’ over Brexit.
Mrs Smeeth told the BBC: ‘Politics is incredibly frustrating at the moment but it’s become a game about people on either end of this horrible issue at this point and all sanity has gone out of the window in the middle of trying to come up with something that the general public desperately wants.
‘My constituents – actually the whole country – wants to stop talking about Brexit, but we just need to deliver at this point a deal that works that is not No Deal.
‘Because people in London seem to have missed the fact that, outside London, No Deal is what people would prefer.’
Unite leader Len McCluskey yesterday said there was ‘no panic to do anything’ on Brexit immediately as he urged the party to give Corbyn time
Mrs Smeeth (third from left in dark glasses) said that three quarters of the post she receives from voters was from people wanting to leave unilaterally, saying people were unaware of the damage that would do.
Mrs Smeeth added: ‘Seventy five per cent of my postbag is in favour of No Deal and so for the people who are actively engaged, one of the things that is so frustrating for me is that no political party has actually outlined why No Deal is an appallingly bad thing for the country.
‘There has been no mood music about why it is bad, so No Deal they think either means the status quo or we will be able to get over it.
‘They don’t realise the impact of what WTO terms would be on trade or on their own food bill.’
Her blast came after Unite boss Mr McClusky said that he would back a second referendum – but only on a Labour deal to Leave – after it won power in a general election.
Mr McCluskey, a close associate of party leader Jeremy Corbym, said that the party needed to give him time to work amid a growing clamour over its Brexit strategy.
Although he said he would back Remain rather than a No Deal Brexit, he told the BBC’s Marr that he wanted ‘a Brexit that respects the result of the referendum but actually does so with an agreement that the 48 per cent who want to Remain would be happy with.’
He said: ‘There seems to be a panic to rush in order to establish a different position from one the Labour Party has had for a couple of years now, which is respecting the result of the 2016 referendum and trying to negotiate a deal which would unite the nation.
‘Unfortunately we have had a prime minister who has made huge mistakes and a government which has been incapable of delivering Brexit.
‘And we have had a well-funded Remain lobby that has turned the nation into a toxic situation.’
The union kingpin added he wanted ‘a Brexit that respects the result of the referendum but actually does so with an agreement that the 48 per cent who want to Remain would be happy with’
He added: ‘There is no panic to do anything. We’ve got a policy conference coming up in less than 12 weeks, let Jeremy Corbyn consult.
‘Jeremy’s done ok so far, let’s trust him to consult and see what emerges.’
Mr Corbyn last week deferred a decision on whether to back a second referendum by two weeks.
Labour’s shadow cabinet had been due to agree a position at a meeting last Wednesday but he postponed it to have further discussions with trade union leaders.
Some like Mr McCluskey back Leave and along with MPs in Labour seats that backed Brexit are pushing back at attempts to line the party up behind a second referendum.
Labour MP David Lammy hit back at Mr McCluskey today. The People’s Vote backer said: ‘Anyone urging Jeremy to delay this decision for another 12 weeks is not asking him to demonstrate leadership, they are asking him to continue with a can-kicking strategy that has already seen millions of people turn away from Labour.
‘Further dithering will not only harm our party’s chances in the next election but harm our communities and our country too.
‘As Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt vie against each other to offer the 0.25 per cent of the UK who are Conservative Party members the hardest possible Brexit, the people are crying out for strong and principled opposition.
‘Now is the time for Labour to act – and do it fast.’
Deputy leader Tom Watson and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer are spearheading attempts by Labour Remainers to push the party in behind a new vote amid concerns that the next Tory leader will push for a No Deal Brexit.
Mr Watson has said that it would be ‘history making’ if the party explicitly backed supporting a vote to remain in the European Union in a new referendum.
Labour has already indicated that any deal should be put to a public vote and Mr Watson has warned the party would be ‘electoral history’ if it did not make it clear it supports Remain.
Mr McDonnell said the discussion was about the ‘attitude’ Labour should take and Jeremy Corbyn had given trade unions more time to decide
Shifting Labour’s stance to full support of Remain and a second referendum is taking longer than expected, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has told Sky’s Sophy Ridge.
Mr McDonnell said the discussion was about the ‘attitude’ Labour should take and Jeremy Corbyn had given trade unions more time to decide.
He said: ‘(Jeremy) had a meeting on the Monday before the last shadow cabinet and I thought the next day we were going to move forward.
‘The unions asked for a bit more time and I don’t mind that – that’s the type of leader Jeremy is, he is a consensus builder.’
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