Derek Hatton’s criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposed support for May’s Brexit position is off the mark (Echo 31/1/17). Corbyn is reflecting the majority ‘Out’ vote which I supported on the basis that the EU is a pro-capitalist, pro-austerity institution. Derek will remember that we campaigned for a socialist Brexit because EU directives opposed public ownership and enshrined privatisation. I remain implacably opposed to May’s ‘red, white and blue Brexit’ as an attempt to offer more of the same.
Corbyn had the choice of voting against Brexit, thus ignoring the wish of the majority or voting ‘For’ while demanding that the interests of the working class be protected. Correctly, he chose to do this.
Some Labour MPs are justifying their criticism of Corbyn by quoting the majority Remain vote in their own constituencies. It’s a pity they didn’t reflect that wish when poll after poll showed support for the public ownership of rail, energy, and the whole of the NHS.
In or out of the EU the working class will still be faced with facing down the most savage attack on the trade unions and social provision for a hundred years. That’s why I will continue to support Corbyn albeit with the call for him to go further in transforming Labour into a fighting socialist party.