[The following is a response to a letter promoted by known anti Corbyn activists in the Labour Party.]
Open letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn's Article 50 position
There is an open letter doing the rounds on social media. It is supported by some grassroots Labour activists, campaigners, supporters and voters.
It calls on Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, to change his current position on Article 50.
This is how it begins and at this point it could be from this group also:
"We are all Labour Party members. We are from all corners of the UK, and have a range of backgrounds and ages. Some of us have been members for decades, and some of us have only recently joined. Some of us are frequent activists, and some of us have little time to be actively involved but support wherever we can. In short, we are the grassroots that you have always been keen to represent."
We start to go our separate ways with the next paragraph. Though of course we agree when they say:
"The membership of the Labour Party is not, and has never been, pro-Brexit. The party has a long history of supporting membership of the European Union. We had an official policy of supporting and campaigning for Remain during the referendum campaign."
Sadly we disagree from here.
This is our open letter:
This week two MPs resigned their positions citing Article 50 and Jeremy Corbyn's stance. There was no need for them to act in such a manner and at this time. The Labour Party are fighting two by elections scheduled for February 23 and both constituencies support BRexit.
Imagine the impact Labour Party BRexit divisions will have on these elections.
It was heartening to see Harriet Harman on a Sunday politics show say that she agrees with the party leader's stance even though she voted to remain in the EU and represents a BRemain constituency. It was equally heartening to hear my MP Alan Johnson make a similar statement Thursday.
Neither are Corbyn supporters but they respect democracy.
We may or may not like BRexit but we cannot simply throw a tantrum and disrespect democracy when it suits.
The Labour4EU account is tweeting to various journalists in the mainstream media and their story has already been published in the Guardian.
It is supported by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw who tweeted Saturday:
"Thanks to Exeter's Emma Brennan for initiating & all @UKLabour members for supporting this great #Article50 letter."
It looks increasingly likely that the group's actions are more about causing Labour Party divisions than Article 50. The main player is not a Corbyn supporter.
However Article 50 is a given. The Tory Party remains deeply divided over Brexit but too many people in the Labour Party are allowing the Tories a free ride on this issue.
Mrs May and her Tory government and party should be taking the heat right now. Instead a small group of self serving Labour Party Remainers are happily pushing bad press Labour's way.
We must let the Labour Party leader lead and trust in his team.
Jeremy Corbyn January 28, 2017:
"Labour campaigned in last year's referendum to remain in the European Union — and nearly two-thirds of Labour voters voted to remain.
As we all know, the result was a vote to leave.
We are not a party for the 48% or the 52%, but for everyone. We have an important role to play in bringing the country together and getting the best possible deal from Brexit.
Labour respects the will of the British people. But we do not respect the will of a Tory government that is threatening to relegate Britain to a bargain basement tax haven.
That's why we will vote to trigger Article 50 in the European Union Withdrawal Bill — but also will use every means at our disposal to make sure jobs, living standards, workers' rights and environmental protections are protected in the negotiations that follow.
So Labour has tabled a series of amendments to the Bill to ensure there is meaningful parliamentary scrutiny at every stage and a vote on the final deal.
We have also tabled an amendment to build in the broad principles we need to get the best outcome for our country — including tariff-free access to the single market and an anti-tax haven amendment to make sure the Prime Minister does not use Brexit as an excuse to duck out of tackling tax avoidance and evasion.
And we will support amendments to ensure the Tories don't yet again attack people's rights at work.
This is a difficult moment for our party. We campaigned to remain, but we have to accept the democratic result.
We will be reaching out to our friends and allies in the European socialist and progressive parties to help secure an agreement that strengthens cooperation and solidarity across Europe.
We must remember that what unites us is far stronger than what divides us: our commitment to defend our NHS, to campaign against the Tories' cuts to schools and social care — and our determination to build a country in which no one and no community is left behind.
We will vote for Article 50, but we will not be giving the Tories a blank cheque on their damaging agenda for Brexit — or any of their other failures.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party"
Those people behind the Open Letter against Brexit are anti Corbyn, have been from day one, and continue to be - particularly with reference to Ben Bradshaw and Jonathan Proctor
It is worth noting the people behind the open letter are encouraging email addresses are added perhaps for later use.
Please sign our open letter here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15We9eCI26_NlQRMKzbm7gvYU6w5TWJLedKveptKIMrY