As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, leading Labour figures in Barnsley including Stephanie have written to Jeremy Corbyn warning any push from Labour for a second EU referendum could put the party’s future at stake.
Barnsley East MP Stephanie, Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis and Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, offered their support for Mr Corbyn’s ongoing negotiations to secure an exit deal but stated their objection to the prospect of a second referendum.
The letter says reneging on assurances given and pursuing a second EU referendum ‘risks creating further irreparable division in society’ and could ‘disenfranchise millions’ of voters.
“We do not support such a proposal and nor would the majority of our residents,” the letter says. “Along with the future of our democratic process, the future of our Labour Party is at stake. We simply cannot ignore and disregard the voice of traditional Labour voters who rely on our movement.
“Instead we must reconnect with the working people for whom our party was formed to represent, and show the trust they have placed in us is not taken for granted.
“Working to achieve a deal now is the way to do this, and to help unite those who voted on both sides of the referendum.”
Stephanie, who resigned from her Labour front bench position after breaking party orders and voting against a second referendum on the UK’s exit from the EU, told the Chronicle: “In 2016 Barnsley voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU and a year later I was elected by the people of Barnsley East on a manifesto promise to respect this decision.
“I have long been honest and clear that I feel a second referendum risks undermining this result and ignoring the clear message we received at the ballot box both locally and nationally to leave the EU.”
The letter added: “As elected representatives of Barnsley we strongly believe that the decision made by our residents and by people across the UK on our membership of the European Union must be honoured.
“The Labour Party’s manifesto pledge at the last general election to respect the result was a significant reason why so many people trusted us with their vote.
“Ignoring this decision risks undermining the trust placed in us as elected representatives, and that is why we support your efforts in the ongoing negotiations with the government to secure a deal.”