Labour MPs John Mann and Dennis Skinner back Brexit

Posted On: 
10th June 2016

Two outspoken Labour MPs have revealed they will be voting for Britain to quit the EU in the upcoming referendum.

John Mann and Dennis Skinner are the latest Labour MPs to back Brexit
PA Images

John Mann and Dennis Skinner, both of whom represent working class Labour heartlands, became the party's eighth and ninth MPs to campaign for an Out vote on 23 June.

The intervention comes amid mounting concern that the party is struggling to convince its traditional base to back Remain.

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In particular, many Labour MPs have accused the party leadership of refusing to address the issue of rising immigration.

Bassetlaw MP Mr Mann said the EU was “fundamentally broken” and leaving was the only way to reduce the impact of migration on public services.

In an article for The Sun he argued Britain had “at all times now one arm tied behind our back” by the EU with “worsening inequality” due to new arrivals and no hope of fixing already damaged workers' rights. 

He added: “The reason I’ve concluded that we have to come out is it’s impossible to change the EU from the inside.”

And Mr Mann warned that “too few” Labour MPs were campaigning for a Leave vote, suggesting they were too influenced by Westminster's “establishment politics” and would be surprised by the referendum result.

“They are going to get a big shock about how Labour councillors vote, they will get a big shock about how Labour members vote. And it shouldn’t come as a shock how many Labour voters will vote,” he said.

Bolsover MP Mr Skinner meanwhile argued the UK would better fight capitalism outside the bloc.

He told the Morning Star: “My opposition from the very beginning has been on the lines that fighting capitalism state-by-state is hard enough. It’s even harder when you’re fighting it on the basis of eight states, 10 states and now 28.

“In the old days they could argue you might get a socialist government in Germany, but there’s not been one for donkeys’ years.

“At one time there was Italy, the Benelux countries, France and Germany, Portugal, Spain and us.

“Now there’s just one in France and it’s hanging on by the skin of its teeth."

Meanwhile, formerly Brexit-backing Labour MP Khalid Mahmood is apparently set to announce he is switching sides in the debate today.

And The Sun also reports eurosceptic MP John Cryer - chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party - was told he would face the sack if he publicly backed Brexit.

Elsewhere, prominent Labour MP and Remain campaigner Dan Jarvis will make a speech today arguing the north has the "most to gain" from continued EU membership.