Labour seems intent on making sure we undergo a hard Brexit rather than a soft one

Four in 10 voters think Labour wants to take UK back into EU

Four in 10 voters think the Labour party’s Brexit policy is to rejoin the European Union, according to a new poll.

A Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll found that 41 per cent of those surveyed believe Labour wants to take the UK back into the bloc.

The numbers, collected in a survey conducted on June 17, found 20 per cent said the party had no clear Brexit policy, while 23 per cent said they did not know what the party’s policy was.

Only 16 per cent of respondents stated that they understood Labour’s policy was to stay out of the EU.

It is a slightly changed position from then that outlined in March, when the same Redfield & Wilton polling found 37 per cent of voters thought Labour’s long term goal was to rejoin the EU on Brexit policy. 

Sir Keir has said repeatedly that under a Labour government the UK would not rejoin the EU.

In May this year, he affirmed that “Britain’s future is outside the EU” as he ruled out joining the single market or the customs union and said there would be no return to freedom of movement.

It is a position Sir Keir has repeated stated many times under his leadership. Setting out Britain’s relationship with Europe under a Labour government in July 2022, the Labour leader said in a major speech: “With Labour, Britain will not go back into the EU. We will not be joining the single market. We will not be joining a customs union”. 

He added: “We will not return to freedom of movement to create short term fixes”.

Last year, the Labour leader laid out his 5-point plan to “make Brexit work”. Sir Keir promised to “tear down unnecessary barriers”, “eliminate most border checks”, “support Britain’s world-leading industries”, “keep Britain safe” and “invest in Britain”.

Explaining his five points, Sir Keir said: “The Government have missed Brexit opportunities time and time again. It beggars belief that during a cost of living crisis that they still haven’t cut VAT on energy bills.

“Labour will be sharper than this. We will use our flexibility outside of the EU to ensure British regulation is adapted to suit British needs”, he added.

In this way, at the start of this year, Sir Keir announced the “take back control bill” to fulfil some of the promises of Brexit if Labour wins the next election. The bill, named after the campaign slogan which fronted the Brexit referendum campaign in 2016, would devolve more powers to local communities.

Moreover, in an article for the Daily Express newspaper, published at the end of May, Sir Keir argued that the government’s “total mismanagement of Brexit” was compounding a host of issues facing the UK.

“Every one of the problems I have outlined can be fixed from outside the EU”, Sir Keir wrote. “But it will require hard work, good relations and — above all — honesty. That’s why we should be optimistic.”

Having once campaigned for remain in 2016 and subsequently for a “People’s Vote” or second referendum on Brexit, Sir Keir has denied changing his Brexit stance in order to appeal to Leave voters in former Labour voting constituencies. 

“I’ve long reflected on that referendum”, the Labour leader said in January, adding: “Sitting beyond that [2016 referendum] there was a very powerful emotional case for change, which I don’t think most remain voters would argue with, I certainly didn’t. The other side of Brexit is delivering the change needed in this country.”