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Odd couple: Stephen Kinnock is married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who was prime minister of Denmark between 2011 and 2015. Denmark remains part of the EU but Mr Kinnock is a staunch Brexiter.

At first glance it looks like a betrayal – undermining Jeremy Corbyn just when he’s building up support against Boris Johnson among opposition parties. But is it?

The Guardian is reporting that a large group of Labour Brexiters have announced that they would now support Theresa May’s old, three-times-rejected EU withdrawal agreement, as they believe this is the only way of ensuring that the Brexit doesn’t happen without any deal at all.

Labour MPs opposed to a second referendum are considering a “radical and dramatic intervention” to make clear to Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson they are prepared to vote for a Brexit deal, with one estimating that dozens of colleagues are now ready to back the withdrawal agreement.

Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP who coordinates around 30 MPs in a group called Respect the Result, said he believed that passing the withdrawal agreement was the most certain way of stopping the UK crashing out without a deal.

Despite Johnson’s refusal to negotiate with the EU unless it drops the backstop, Kinnock said a time would come in the autumn when a compromise deal could be done based on the withdrawal agreement that emerged out of cross-party talks.

Putting aside for a moment the fact that no withdrawal agreement emerged from cross-party talks (it was foisted on us out-of-the-blue by Theresa May), it seems to be too late for Boris Johnson to accept such a move.

The old withdrawal agreement accepted the Northern Ireland border backstop mechanism, and BoJob is firmly opposed to it. He will not accept an agreement that includes it and this is a main sticking-point in his current dialogue with the EU27.

So it seems unlikely that Mr Kinnock and his crew will have their way.

The question arises: Then what will they do?

I reckon their best bet is to support Mr Corbyn. Both they and he want to stop a “no deal” Brexit and his plan for another referendum, while unappealing to them, does at least include an option of Brexit with an agreed deal.

It’s not what they want, but it might just be the next-best thing.

Source: Labour bloc plans ‘radical’ move to push through Brexit deal | Politics | The Guardian

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