How will Labour deliver change if it isn’t willing to discuss the elephant in the room? - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Jas Olak, Leeds for Europe, Roundhay, Leeds.

‘Change’ was all that was written on Sir Keir Starmer’s lectern at the launch of the Labour Party’s General Election campaign. A relief for anyone without time to wade through three-word slogans.

Change is needed: Starting with a stop to electioneering politicians ignoring Brexit. “It’s the elephant in the room,” says our parent group European Movement UK. “Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are desperate to avoid the subject. They’re treating it as a taboo subject…despite Brexit’s huge impacts on our economy, quality of life, and our international standing.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Conservative reluctance is understandable. Brexit’s a disaster - and the public knows it. Fifty-five per cent say quitting the European Union was a mistake and 69 per cent think it badly handled by the Tories (YouGov, May 15-16).

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking in Westminster, London, after a General Election was called for July 4. PIC: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireLabour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking in Westminster, London, after a General Election was called for July 4. PIC: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking in Westminster, London, after a General Election was called for July 4. PIC: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

At least we know where Rishi Sunak’s Brexit party stands. Much greater confusion surrounds Labour…even amongst its own supporters.

Figures published this month (May) by Redfield & Wilton - and referred to by polling expert Sir John Curtice - show 39 per cent of Labour supporters don’t know the party’s position on Brexit…or think it doesn’t have a clear one. Thirty-seven per cent reckon it supports ‘Rejoin’ and only 23 per cent say - correctly - its policy is ‘Stay Out’.

“It seems many voters aren’t clear where Labour stands on Brexit,” says Sir John.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Don’t blame voter apathy. How often do Labour spokespeople conspicuously avoid the topic, rather than inform the public? Even when they’re meant to be talking about the economy, trade, cost of living, opportunities for young people or other issues negatively impacted by Brexit? Hence, ‘elephant in the room’.

Labour seems willing to muddle its way to victory on July 4. But then what?

In government, there’ll be no rejoining the EU - or European Single Market, Labour says; even though it’s what most voters want.

But Labour still claims it’ll deliver the fastest growing economy in the G7. Really? Without addressing the reason for an estimated four to six per cent hit to UK GDP under the Tories?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Labour is “just as culpable” in Conservative “betrayal” if it doesn’t reinstate the Northern leg of HS2, you say (Comment, May 25). The same can be said for Labour’s Brexit responsibilities, if it doesn’t change and commit to doing everything possible to undo the damage.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.