Brexit Labour MP warns party's Remain backing could boost Ukip vote

Posted On: 
26th April 2016

A "swathe" of voters could flock to Ukip from Labour after Jeremy Corbyn's party backed remaining in the European Union, one of its senior MPs will warn.

Frank Field Frank Field will warn backing Remain could damage Labour in the long run
Credit: 
PA Images

Frank Field, who is campaigning for an Out vote, will say the upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the bloc poses an “untold danger” to Labour's prospects at the next general election.

In a speech today, he will recall criticism of the party's 1983 manifesto, arguing the decision to call for Remain could be the "second-longest suicide note in Labour's history".

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Mr Field stands against most of the MPs in his party who want Britain to keep ties with Brussels.

Leader Mr Corbyn staged his first intervention in the debate in recent days, calling for a “socialist” Europe and urging voters to opt for Remain on 23 June – despite his eurosceptic tendencies of the past.

But Mr Field, MP for Birkenhead, will say during an address for Brexit campaign Vote Leave: "The last thing Jeremy needs to do is to undermine further the traditional Labour vote, much of which wishes to leave the European Union.

"For the party leader more actively to campaign for the Remain campaign will push even more Labour voters into the arms of UKIP."

Mr Field will hit out at the “open-door policy” of migration in Europe and will call for a more “balanced” approach.

However, another grandee of the party, Alan Johnson, will say EU membership is “vital” for workers' rights.

The head of Labour's In campaign will tell the Usdaw union's conference: "From nurses and builders to railway workers, steel workers, postal workers and shop workers, trade unions will be campaigning for a Britain that remains in Europe...

"The rights of working people are protected by our EU membership, and Labour and our union movement are united in campaigning for Britain to remain in Europe."