The Labour Party “is not wedded” to the free movement of workers within the European Union, nor is it committed to maintaining the program once Britain burns the bridge.
In his first speech of the year new year, Jeremy Corbyn laid out a substantial, but so far unclear and unencouraging, rehash of the party’s official positions on Brexit and immigration. It was the first time that the Labour Party has bended toward the populist rhetoric raging across the country, and it’s not clear how much of this position should be seen as a tactic or as a sincere political persuasion.
Control over immigration proved decisive in settling the outcome of the referendum that resulted in the Brexit, and the debate is still being waged.
The first, most general, debate topic concerns Labour’s position on the how and why of Brexit itself. It is characterized by a rift between northern voters — the impoverished working class forgotten by southern metropolitan elites, a framework established under Blair — who widely favor the British exit and the socially kindred base of the former technocratic leadership, which shares its ideologies and E.U. stance, even though it favors the containment of the free movement of workers.