After Labour and the Tories campaigned side-by-side in the Scottish referendum campaign, nationalists labelled Labour as “Red Tories” – unfairly in the opinion of many observers – using the slur to win dozens of seats in the general election.
Cameron must have been delighted.
But Labour has learned from its mistake and will not be repeating the experience. In any case, Labour’s reasons for wishing to remain in the EU are a far cry from Cameron’s.
Jeremy Corbyn will be campaigning for a Europe that prioritises jobs, social protection, the environment and sustainability.
David Cameron has actively campaigned against social protection while forcing his ‘dead cat’ immigration changes down the throats of every other EU leader to distract from any suggestions that might be useful.
Labour’s problem is that, if the UK remains in the EU after June 23, we will still have a Conservative Government, therefore it is the Conservative version of remaining that will prevail – for the time being, at least.
How Tory Eurosceptics will respond to that is anybody’s guess – and it makes any predictions beyond June 23 very hard to make.
Jeremy Corbyn has drawn a deeper dividing line with David Cameron over Europe, highlighting the leave campaign’s claims that the UK’s deal with Brussels may not be legally binding.
The Labour leader, who supports staying in the EU, categorically ruled out sharing a platform with the prime minister as he seeks to make a completely separate argument against Brexit. He stressed he is “not on the same side of the argument” as Cameron despite both fighting for the remain campaign to win.
Corbyn has strongly criticised Cameron for striking the deal with 27 other EU leaders to curb in-work benefits for migrants, saying it is irrelevant and a sideshow to the wider referendum debate. Speaking to ITV’s The Agenda, he said he could never imagine sharing a stage with the prime minister and pointed to comments by Michael Gove, the justice secretary and leave campaigner, that question the legal status of Cameron’s deal.
“We are not on the same side of the argument. [Cameron] wants a free market Europe. He has negotiated what he believes is some kind of deal over welfare and the ever-closer union, which is apparently legally questionable, according to Michael Gove.
“I want to see a Europe that is about protecting our environment and ensuring we have sustainable industries across Europe, such as the steel industry, and high levels of jobs and social protection across Europe. His agenda is the very opposite.”
Corbyn went on to attack Cameron for failing to do enough to tackle the refugee crisis engulfing the continent.
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