Brexit divides Labour
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has ordered Labour MPs to support the May government's Brexit bill in parliament. Several MPs, however, plan to ignore the order and vote against it. So far two members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet have resigned. The press is also at odds over whether Labour, as a left-wing party, should give the green light for Brexit or not.
Labour should place itself on the right side
Labour MPs who want to remain loyal to their social democratic principles must not vote for Brexit, The New Statesman admonishes:
“The right side of history will be to oppose Brexit. The side of openness, tolerance and progress. The side of avoiding financial instability, so that you can have some money to fund public services. The side Labour should be on, basically. The wrong thing to do will be to nod through a bill that could result in Britain becoming poorer and more unequal - even a tax haven. This is the side of a shrinking state, massive deregulation and low tax. The side Labour definitely, definitely shouldn’t be on.Being on the right side of history now would appeal to voters when history comes to judge the Brexiteers.”
Left has no choice but to support Brexit
Brexit is ultimately a left-wing project and therefore Corbyn has made the right decision, political scientist Timothy Appleton concludes in El Huffington Post:
“This division is evident in the fact that the Labour Party on the one hand represents the left bourgeoisie, which is liberal and privileged and loves the EU because, one imagines, of its cosmopolitan connotations, but it also represents the traditional working class that has seen its living standards destroyed by capitalist globalisation, which it associates with the European Union. … What makes Corbyn a genuine political leader is that he understands that at some stage the left is going to have to support Brexit, and make it its own project in the process. Does this mean a return to the nation as the terrain for political operations, which could clash with socialist principles? … Perhaps, but if the only kind of internationalism possible today is the neoliberal one, what choice do they have.”