Labour may yet change its stance on Brexit if the British public decide they don’t want to leave the EU after all, according to the party’s election campaign chief.
He reportedly said at a business event in London that Labour “trod a very clever fine line” on Brexit during the 2017 election by accepting the referendum result while demanding Britain keeps all the benefits of being in the single market.
But he suggested a possible shift in Labour’s position, telling the crowd: “We recognise that the country voted to leave.
“Whether public opinion shifts in the course of the next couple of years will be interesting to see.
“And I think once the reality of what Brexit is going to look like becomes more apparent, it may well be that the political situation changes sufficiently that the Labour Party’s nuanced position might also have more flexibility.”
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Mr Gwynne, who is the shadow communities secretary, added: “I actually think the Labour Party trod a very clever fine line in the election that appealed to both Remain and Leave constituencies and Remain and Leave voters.
“I think it is our challenge to keep treading that fine line. Because yes, this could become a political problem for the Labour Party – but right now it’s one hell of a political problem for the Tories.”
His comments come as a split emerged among Labour’s top team over whether Labour should support leaving the single market and customs union.
Mr Corbyn said at the weekend that Labour backs pulling Britain out of the EU single market.
However, the Labour leader yesterday slap down another shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner, who said that staying in the customs union would be a “disaster”.
Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said Labour must keep its options open during the Brexit negotiations.
Top pic: Rex