Labour’s Brexit chaos continued over the weekend as its position unraveled once again, with Momentum members voting to ban any debate on the subject on the Conference stage and Welsh MPs demanding Jeremy Corbyn commits to staying in the single market and customs union.
Despite being the biggest issue facing Wales and the United Kingdom, our exit from the European Union was not one of the eight topics selected for votes at Labour conference, following a ‘whipping’ system encouraged by Momentum in an email to its membership. Senior figures, including Labour politicians in Wales, expressed outrage at the announcement.
The decision followed a letter sent by Labour MPs to Jeremy Corbyn – signed by Welsh figures such as Chris Bryant, Madeline Moon and Stephen Doughty – demanding the Party commits to staying in the single market and customs union.
Commenting on the latest episode of chaos and infighting within the Labour Party, the Welsh Conservative Europe spokesperson, Mark Isherwood AM, said:
“Labour are once again ducking away from debating Brexit, the biggest issue facing Wales and the United Kingdom, because they are too divided on the issue and have no plan.
“The Welsh arm led by Carwyn Jones says one thing on Brexit but is then contradicted by Jeremy Corbyn’s ambiguity and confusion from other members of the shadow cabinet. Who is speaking for the Labour Party on this hugely important issue?
“With so much at stake, hardworking people across Wales will be rightly concerned about the significant contradictions in their positions, particularly when the Labour Government should be offering a strong voice for Wales’ interests at such a crucial stage of the Brexit proceedings.
“This weekend’s sorry episode yet again demonstrates that Labour are in disarray and intent on defying the will of the people – only the Conservatives can be trusted to get on with delivering Brexit.”
Notes to editors:
Senior figures, including Welsh Labour politicians, have expressed outrage at the decision not to debate Brexit at Labour Conference. Tweets included:
- Stephen Doughty MP: Not entirely sure what's happened to giving members a freer voice at conference if being heavily whipped in votes... #Brexit #Lab17
- Stephen Doughty MP again…: Utterly bizarre not to debate #Brexit formally at #Lab17 - whatever people's views biggest issue facing country. Apparently "unfruitful".
- Heidi Alexander MP: I am gobsmacked. How can @uklabour not have a full & proper debate on #Brexit policy at #Lab17? We will be a laughing stock. (Dawn Bowden AM backed Ms Alexander, quote retweeting, “She’s got a point.”)
- Chuka Umunna MP: I can't believe no Brexit related motion is being debated at #Lab17 tomorrow. We should not be ducking this debate -we should be leading it.
The letter to Jeremy Corbyn from Labour MPs, including Welsh figures Chris Bryant, Madeline Moon, Stephen Doughty and Lord Hain, featured in yesterday’s Observer.