LONDON — The majority of Brits want to see Labour and other opposition parties included in Brexit negotiations, YouGov research published today shows.
Over two-thirds of respondents (68%) told YouGov they want to see other parties included in divorce talks with the European Union in some capacity, with just 14% saying they do not.
Over a third (35%) said they believed other parties should play an equal role to Theresa May’s Conservative government in negotiating Britain’s divorce from the European Union.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour was the party most respondents wanted to see involved in negotiations with EU figures.
Of those people who said opposition parties should play an equal role in talks to the Tories, 93% said the Labour is the party they’d most like to see represent Britain’s interests in Brussels during Article 50 negotiations.
All told, 59% of Brits want the Labour Party to be involved in Brexit negotiations in at least some form — including 48% of respondents who voted Conservative in the 2017 general election. Over half of people who voted Tory last month want (54%) would like to see Prime Minister May consult opposition parties over Brexit.
YouGov has published this data on the same day that Corbyn and Labour figures including Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott have travelled to Brussels to meet the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, to discuss Britain’s divorce from the 28-nation bloc and what Labour wants it to entail.
“These are crucial negotiations for our country and we’re here to ensure that we defend jobs and living standards and try and discover exactly what the views of European Union are today on the whole process,” Corbyn said.
This latest measure of public opinion also comes on the same day that government publishes its Repeal Bill, which will see all EU law currently affecting Britain transposed into domestic law. The Bill is set to be fiercely debated by MPs when Parliament returns in September and could bring May her first ever defeat in a Commons vote.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said after last month’s general election result, in which May failed to win a majority, that the bill was “now history”. Shadow Brexit secretary Starmer has also said the party plans to vote against it unless May allows a series of major concessions to it.
One demand, that the Charter of Fundamental Rights is incorporated into UK law is one key touchpoint. Today’s bill explicitly states that it won’t be.
The failure to explicitly state that EU laws will be devolved back to the devolved administrations could also be a sticking point, with the Scottish and Welsh administrations both saying today that they will refuse to give the bill legislative consent.