John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, has abandoned his party’s pro-European Union stance, instead stating that Brexit would mean no freedom of movement, and therefore no access to the Single Market. He said:
“Lets be absolutely clear on the immigration issue. When Britain leaves the European Union, free movement of labour and people will then come to an end. What we found on the doorstep is that those communities that felt left behind blamed immigration.”
He later added:
“[I am] stating the formal reality as it stands – not talking about Labour’s position on free movement”
Liberal Democrats have accused McDonnell of abandoning his party’s principles in the name of trying to win votes from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), saying that “If your choice for Chancellor can’t be trusted to follow your party’s line, then you have no business running the country”.
Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron has come out unequivocally in support of the EU, stating that if his party wins the next General Election, be that in Autumn or in May 2020, rejoining the EU will be their flagship policy.
Within the House of Commons, there is a majority of 454 to 172 in favour of the UK remaining in the Single Market, and reports suggest that these MPs are considering using their force to ensure it. Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, son of former Labour Leader Neil Kinnock, said:
“If the British people voted to leave the EU that’s one thing.
“But can we really say that they voted for the devastation and destruction of the entire exporting sector of our economy? I don’t think you can necessarily say that there’s a democratic mandate for that.
“In a sense it’s a lose-lose situation. I don’t see how you untie that Gordian knot because you’re looking at a massive economic crisis going down the track of the Canada model and a constitutional crisis going down the track of the Norway model.”
With one Labour MP saying that “there will be as much fun and games as possible to stop [Brexit] and block it and delay it”, it has to be questioned – has this referendum cost the efficiency of this Parliament?