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UK Labour party meets as frictions remain over Brexit


UK Labour party meets as frictions remain over Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn rallies the Labour faithful

A resurgent British Labour party will meet for its four-day annual conference today in Brighton. The party will gather for the first time since leader Jeremy Corbyn defied all predictions by leading Labour to its best performance since 2010 in this June’s general election.

The conference follows two years of turmoil in the party, where Corbyn’s left-wing base faced down two leadership contests from Labour’s moderates. Tensions still simmer, but peace has been declared.

Over the next four days, Corbyn will likely attempt to stamp his authority—and obtain clarity—on Brexit. Some in the party want common market membership and freedom of movement.  This is at odds with Labour’s 2017 electoral position, which supported the end of free migration into the UK post-Brexit.

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Going forward, Corbyn will need to be clear about the Brexit he envisions. Leaving the common market risks alienating young voters, who flocked to Labour during the election. Staying in risks splintering the working class base that helped Corbyn win the party leadership.

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