Young campaigners issue Brexit vote appeal to Corbyn
Labour leader and Islington North MP is urged to support second referendum on EU membership
18 January, 2019
Jeremy Corbyn: ‘If the government remains intransigent, if support for Labour’s alternative is blocked for party advantage and the country is facing the potential disaster of no-deal, our duty will then be to look at other options, which we set out in our conference motion, including that of a public vote’
PRO-European Union campaign groups have this week appealed to Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party voters in Islington to support a second public vote on Brexit.
Our Future Our Choice is one of the groups behind an advertisement in this week’s Tribune calling for a change to the party’s current line.
But young party members from Islington have responded by saying the result of the original referendum must be honoured and called for party unity.
Jan Baykara, a 24-year-old organiser for Islington Young Labour, said: “The People’s Vote is interesting but a detached form of politics. It doesn’t talk about the substantive issues about why people voted for Brexit in the first place. There are social economic reasons that aren’t accounted for in the second vote campaign.
“On a tactical level it almost detracts from the movement, which is about ensuring equality and distribution of wealth.”
He added of those calling for a second vote: “They’re just waving their own flag.”
The wraparound advertisement (above) is accompanied by 132 photographs of Labour Party members who speak to the Islington North and Labour party leader directly, saying: “We need you to back a public vote.”
One of its architects, Cathleen Clarke, 22, said had been “inspired” by Mr Corbyn when he first ran for the Labour leadership.
Ms Clarke, who has ardently campaigned for the veteran MP, said: “We want him to win a general election, we want a Corbyn government, but we also want a final say on Brexit.”
She said she placed the advert in the Tribune because it was Mr Corbyn’s local paper and there was a high chance he would read it.
Ms Clarke is a “mobilisation officer” for campaign group Our Future Our Choice, which is a pro-European Union advocacy group for young people that has members from all major parties.
But Ms Clarke said the letter was only backed by members of the Labour Party.
Mr Corbyn has not fully committed to a second vote at this stage but has not ruled it out. He said yesterday (Thursday): “If the government remains intransigent, if support for Labour’s alternative is blocked for party advantage and the country is facing the potential disaster of no-deal, our duty will then be to look at other options, which we set out in our conference motion, including that of a public vote.”
Mr Corbyn’s stance was backed by Ben Hayes, a youth officer for the Islington North Constituency Party. He said Labour Party members should “keep the pressure” on the government to get a “successful” general election result in Labour’s favour.
He added that young people “are failed by the Tory government whether we are in the EU or not”.