Labour disunity about Article 50 has been hugely over-emphasized

In the ’70s, Labour had to decide if it would support Ted Heath in taking Britain into the European Common Market [Image: Mirrorpix].

According to John Prescott in the Mirror, we’re all being sold a daft line about Labour’s reaction to the big Brexit vote.

It was much worse in the 1970s when Labour opposed the terms under which Tory Ted Heath (remember him?) wanted to enter what was then known as the Common Market.

In that instance, the Labour rebels voted with the Conservatives – otherwise their Bill would have been defeated despite a Parliamentary majority of 112. How times have changed!

Lord Prescott tells us that led to Labour ­resignations, calls for discipline over breaking the whip and a ­bitterness much worse than last week’s vote. But Labour were back in office within only a few years.

So perhaps some of us should re-think the way this story is being told to us, and take a good, hard look at the people trying to tell it.

Let’s also remember that the Conservatives are bitterly divided over this issue too – but they are better-able to hide it with their complicit mass media covering up for them.

Don’t forget that 70 per cent of all MPs – meaning the total must include Conservatives – voted to remain in the European Union. It is only because Eurosceptic backbenchers would split the party if the referendum vote wasn’t honoured that the Tory government is going through with Brexit.

Nationally we voted out and Labour must respect it. Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right to impose a three-line whip to back Article 50. Doing anything else would have been a snub to democracy.

What Labour is doing – and must continue to do – is look to shape what Britain looks like after Brexit . So its amendments to protect workers’ rights and jobs by maintaining access to the single market are important.

We’re not going to stop leaving the EU, but Corbyn can fight for a Labour Brexit that puts people, living ­standards and business first.

Source: Labour is painted as being bitterly divided – let’s whip up unity on Brexit deal

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