Tristram Hunt has little sympathy with Labour MPs who want us to leave the European Union: “many of them have a Bennite vision” that the EU is “run by big banks and companies.”
They have “a tired belief in the nature of Europe” that “fails to appreciate the ways in which it has been a force for social democracy.”
The Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent and former Shadow Education Secretary’s words are highly significant. The Conservative Party’s split over Britain’s membership of the EU—to be voted upon in a referendum on 23rd June—is widely acknowledged. But the Labour Party’s split over Europe has been given less attention. Hunt’s comments shed new light on this divide.
Directly addressing Gisela Stuart, Labour MP and Co-Chair of Vote Leave, who has recently written for Prospect that Labour’s commitment to the EU puts it on the “side of the FTSE 100,” he said: “I disagree with Gisela if she thinks it’s just a reactionary bosses cabal that isn’t a positive force on the world stage.”
“Even with centre-right parties in Europe… I regard Europe as a force for social jus…