'Brexit must happen': Hartlepool MP Mike Hill urges Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn NOT to back 'toxic' second referendum

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has urged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn NOT to back a ‘toxic’ second referendum on Brexit.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19 June, 2019, 16:09
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill

Mr Hill, along with Easington MP Grahame Morris, is among 26 Labour MPs to sign a joint letter to Mr Corbyn, urging him to back a deal to leave the EU before the October 31 deadline.

The MPs made the plea after seeing Labour suffer losses in the recent local and European elections.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn

The letter says: “In 2017, Labour MPs were elected representing both strongly Leave-voting and strongly-Remain voting constituencies.

“Our Party campaigned on a pledge to respect the outcome of the 2016 referendum and negotiate Brexit. We still believe only this stance gives us the credibility to speak for the whole nation, not the 48% or 52%.

“Our Party was devastated in the local elections in longstanding Labour-held councils. The strength of the Brexit Party in Labour heartland areas in the European elections revealed a much more potent threat than either the Liberals or Greens present.”

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Labour held off the challenge of the Brexit Party in the recent Peterborough by-election, but the MPs say the party must listen to voters in its heartlands.

They added: “A commitment to a second referendum would be toxic to our bedrock Labour voters, driving a wedge between them and our Party, jeopardising our role as a party of the whole nation, and giving the populist right an ever greater platform in our heartlands.

“Labour has a vital role to play fighting for a Brexit for the many, not the few. But this is a battle best fought in stage two, after the UK has left.

“Rejecting any Brexit in the hope of securing a perfect deal risks the worst outcome – a No Deal Brexit. This would further alienate many who backed Labour in 2017.

“We urge the Party to put the national interest first, to back a deal before October 31.”