Labour MPs can't quite clear up the confusion over Brexit policy

Written by David Singleton on 13 November 2018 in Diary

Alsion McGovern and Gareth Snell went on Newsnight to confuse matters.

As the government gives every impression of making a mess of Brexit, the Labour party appears to be doing its best to emulate Theresa May and her colleagues.

Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer are now at odds over the basic question of whether Brexit can still be stopped. Therefore it fell to Emily Matlis to try and solve the conundrum last night.

The BBC presenter made a valiant attempt to get some clarity from two Labour MPs – Alison McGovern and Gareth Snell - on Newsnight. Alas it didn’t go as well as she might have hoped.

First up was McGovern, the chair of Progress who is not opposed to a People's Vote. She appeared to back Starmer - but then confused matters by appearing to suggest that Corbyn was also towing the line on Brexit.


Maitlis: “Most of our viewers will be really confused because they’ve heard Jeremy Corbyn say that Brexit can’t be stopped and they’ve heard Keir Starmer say that it can be stopped. We don’t know what to believe.”

McGovern: “Our policy was set out at conference and Keir has reflected that… And I think that everybody in the Labour party, Jeremy and everybody, are reflecting what our policy is.”


Could Snell do any better? The MP for Brexit-backing Stoke Central started off by refusing to acknowledge that Labour voters are overwhelming Remainers. He then made the somewhat controversial argument that the party would be better off burying its head in the sand than trying to find out what Labour supporters think about Brexit.


Maitlis: “You know the YouGov poll recently that showed that every Labour constituency would now vote Remain. So at what point does somebody in your party stand up and say this is what the majority of Labour supporters would back?

Snell: “So I don’t recognise those statistics. The data that I’ve had from Best for Britain suggests that my seat would still vote to leave and that it doesn’t support a second vote… so there are various conflicting data. What I think we need to do is stop looking at polls, stop looking at processes….”








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