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Britain and Europe at a CrossroadsThe Politics of Anxiety and Transformation$
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Andrew Ryder

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529200515

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529200515.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Politics in Focus: Labour

Politics in Focus: Labour

(p.87) 4 Politics in Focus: Labour
Britain and Europe at a Crossroads

Andrew Ryder

Policy Press

The chapter gives an overview of the strategy of Labour in response to Brexit by detailing the words and action of key Labour figues in the wake of the referendum. Labour’s response to Brexit and course of developments between 2016 and 2019 is a story, as with the Conservative Party, of paradigm change, tension and struggle between the different strands and traditions of a party in a state of flux. The chapter sets out a typology: The Lexiteers – radical socialists who saw Brexit as part of the socialist transformation of Britain but included centrists who felt Britain must exit a federalist project and respect the referendum result. In contrast Labour Europhiles wished to retain close links with Europe or even retain full membership and were broadly drawn from the centrist strands of the party. A third strand were the Radical Left Europhiles who generally supported Corbyn the Labour leader but included soft left factions, they favoured remaining in the EU and working for radical reform in Europe. A policy of ambiguity was employed to maintain unity between these diverging groups. Jeremy Corbyn, Keir Starmer and Tony Blair are among the personalities that feature in the discussion.

Keywords:   Lexit, Labour Europhiles, Radical Left Europhiles, Transformative Change, Ambiguity, Jeremy Corby, Keir Starmer, Tony Blair

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