Labour are ‘telling lies’ over Bresit
And in a sign that the strategy is already being tried in some parts of the country, it emerged that Ed Miliband told voters in his heavily Leave-supporting constituency that he had voted nine times for an EU departure deal. A Labour leaflet circulated in Doncaster North claimed the former Labour leader, an outspoken Remainer, had repeatedly voted in Parliament to “sort Brexit”. Tory Cabinet minister Stephen Barclay last night said the leaflet was evidence that Labour was lying to Leave voters.
“It’s clear what Labour’s new strategy is in leave voting constituencies: lie.
“People like Ed Miliband are destroying trust in democracy by saying they accept the result of democratic votes then working to overturn them,” the EU Exit Secretary said.
He added: “Corbyn’s Labour are taking voters for fools and now they are trying to pull the same confidence trick on the British people again.
“Only a vote for the Conservatives on December 12 will help get Brexit done so the country can move on and focus on people’s priorities like the NHS, schools, and recruiting 20,000 more police officers.
“A vote for Corbyn’s Labour is a vote for a gridlocked hung parliament, dither and delay, two more referendums and a £2,400 tax increase.”
Ed Miliband is opposed to Brexit
Mr Miliband campaigned for Remain during the 2016 EU Referendum and opposed Brexit deals agreed with Brussels by both Boris Johnson and Theresa May at Westminster.
Yet his campaign leaflets – signed “Ed Miliband for Doncaster North” – failed to mention his votes against government Brexit proposals in the Commons.
The leaflet said: “We need to sort Brexit. I’ve voted nine times in Parliament for a deal to do that.
“But in this election, I believe what matters even more is whether we have an NHS we can rely on, people can earn enough to bring up their familly and our young people have a future.”
Caroline Flint could lose her seat at Don Valley
Sources close to the former Labour leader said his leaflet was referring to his support for a series of opposition motions backing Labour’s EU policy including calling for the UK to remain in the bloc’s customs union and single market.
A spokeswoman for Mr Miliband said: “Over the last 3 half years Ed has voted 9 times for a customs union, single market and other Labour proposals for a Brexit deal.
“Desperate Tory attempts to throw mud and distract from their plans to sell off the NHS to Donald Trump will fool nobody
“As Ed’s leaflet says Labour will negotiate a Brexit deal that protects the NHS and put it back to the people.”
In the 2016 referendum, 72 percent of voters in Doncaster North backed leaving the EU.
But in a series of Commons votes, the former Labour leader refused to back a deal, supported delaying Brexit by extending the EU’s Article 50 departure process and favoured a second EU referendum.
Mr Miliband is among a string of Remain-backing Labour figures at risk of losing Leave-supporting seats in the December 12 election.
An in-depth survey of voters’ opinions in hundreds of parliamentary constituencies earlier this week forecast that former Labour Cabinet minister Caroline Flint, who has represented the neighbouring Don Valley since 1997 will be ousted.
Labour was also set to lose other key Leave-voting seats including constituencies Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Blackpool, Bolsover, Bury South, Dudley North, Great Grimsby Stoke-on-Trent, West Bromwich and West and Wolverhampton to the Tories according to the survey by YouGov.
A similar YouGov survey at the last general election in 2017 accurately forecast a hung parliament.
Based on the views of around 100,000 voters, the survey forecast that the Tories will pick up 44 seats from Labour largely in the Midlands and North of England.
Labour sources yesterday indicated that the party’s leadership was panicking about the loss of support in Leave areas that had been traditional Labour heartlands in the past.
Party chiefs have ordered Leave-backing shadow cabinet ministers to make high-profile visits to such constituencies to explain the details of Mr Corbyn’s Brexit policy to local voters.
They are understood to be being briefed to highlight the Labour leader’s pledge to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU if he becomes prime minister after the election.
In Remain-backing areas, the party has been arguing that his pledge of a second EU referendum significantly raises the chance of stopping Brexit altogether.
Mr Miliband, who won held his seat with a majority of 14,024 at the 2017 general election, voted supported the UK staying in a customs union with the EU and having a Norway-style relationship with the bloc in a series of so-called “indicative votes” in the Commons on various Brexit options.
Labour sources have conceded that the party made a key mistake in overestimating the threat to the party posed by the Lib Dems while underestimating the danger of Leave voters switching directly from Labour to the Tories.
So far, Labour strategists have concentrated on trying to persuade voters that the election is about far more than Brexit. They have tried to make the NHS the key issue in the campaign.
In the final run up to polling day, they want to appeal to Labour voters by claiming that the party is not seeking to stop the EU leaving the bloc.
Mr Corbyn, who has vowed to stay neutral in any campaign for a second EU referendum, is expected to tour Leave-voting Labour constituencies over the following few days.
Further evidence of Labour’s two-faced stance over Brexit was revealed last night when an email from an ally of Mr Corbyn to grassroots trade unionists claimed a future Labour government would end EU free movement.
Unite general-secretary Len McCuskey, in an election message to his membership, wrote: “Labour is the only party offering a serious and credible plan to leave the EU. It will negotiate a deal with Brussels that will protect jobs, and keep our workplace rights.
Union leader Len McCluskey
“Labour is also committed to bringing in new labour market regulations – to ensure that any employer wishing to recruit workers from abroad does not undercut workers at home.”
He also claimed a vote for Labour in the general election would also be a vote to “end to freedom of movement when we leave the European Union.”
But Labour’s manifesto says: “If we remain in the EU, freedom of movement would continue.
“If we leave, it will be subject to negotiations, but we recognise the social and economic benefits that free movement has brought in terms of EU citizens here and UK citizens abroad – and we will seek to protect those rights.”
Ed Miliband’s record on key Commons Brexit votes
December 7 2016: Voted in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and in favour of starting the process by March 31, 2017.
February 1 2017: Voted to empower the Prime Minister to give notification of the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union.
September 11 2017: Voted against ending the supremacy of EU law in UK law; against converting EU law into domestic law on the UK’s exit from the European Union and against giving ministers the power to correct deficiencies in retained EU law.
January 17 2018: Voted against the UK leaving the European Union.
March 7 2019: Voted against leaving the European Union on April 12, 2019 without a withdrawal agreement.
March 29 2019: Voted against leaving the EU with a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible and not to approve the negotiated withdrawal agreement and associated documents.
January 15 2019: Voted against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement in the first so-called “meaningful vote”.
March 12 2019: Voted against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement in the second so-called “meaningful vote”.
March 29 2019: Voted against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement in the third so-called “meaningful vote”.
October 22 2019: Voted against Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement.