Splits hurt our chances of preventing a disaster

Former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna (second left) and Luciana Berger (third left) with Conservative MPs H

Former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna (second left) and Luciana Berger (third left) with Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston as they arrive for a press conference. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Readers write to The New European after seven Labour MPs quit the party to create The Independent Group.

Leave aside for a moment The Independent Group's mostly justifiable reasons for breaking with Labour, what I am concerned about is the damage this potentially does to the fight of our lives as we head towards March 29.

Surely this will only turn Corbyn and Milne further away from whipping their remaining MPs into anti-Brexit positions like extending Article 50, or formally ruling out a no-deal, or even the much-discussed second referendum with an option to Remain?

If by some miracle a second referendum does happen, doesn't the split make it much less likely that Labour's official position will be to support Remain?

Doesn't it distract from the march on March 23, which needs to be our focus now (Leavers will point to anything less than the 700,000 who marched last time as a failure)?

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I understand the concerns of the seven, especially why Luciana Berger felt she could not go on. The timing just feels a bit wrong to me.

Cath Waite, Manchester

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Let's say 20 Tories quit the party and join The Independent Group May wouldn't have enough MPs to win a confidence vote. That means a general election.

The MPs who quit the Tory and Labour parties would probably lose their seats to official Tory and Labour candidates, and then be out of parliament altogether. Currently Labour are slightly behind the Tories in most opinion polls, but historically opinion polls have overestimated Labour's support (with the notable exception of 2017). So May wins the election with a majority. How does that help us?

I don't mean to be a Cassandra, but I really don't see how this breakaway either helps the Remain cause, or changes anything.

The People's Vote campaign have already distanced themselves as they think this Labour split will make it harder for it to maintain links with left-wing Labour groups like Momentum.

Alun Parsons

Surely it must eventually dawn on Jeremy Corbyn that in all reality he only has to do one thing; and that is to back a People's Vote.

We do not want to hear about 'Jobs-first Brexit' or pointless calls for an election without any action to actually cause one.

Robert Boston, West Malling

Those attacking The Independent Group's breakaway underestimate the sheer anger at Corbyn's europhobia.

Anger at the failure to follow Labour policy. Anger at the last Brexity general election manifesto. Anger at whipping the Article 50 vote. Anger at the incompetent political tactics which allowed May to get this far. Anger at a red unicorn and red cake policy which is still pursued today.

Personally, I see Brexit as a crime of racial hatred. I am furious with the cabal of London socialists who make Brexit policy: Corbyn, McDonnell, Thornberry, Gardiner etc. All represent Remain constituencies but refuse to explain why we should Remain to the heartlands.

Gareth Pritchard

This is very brave decision on the part of the seven MPs. I'm devastated that this is happening to my party, but I absolutely can't blame them for their actions.

They have put their necks on the line by doing this, and no-one should underestimate the courage required.

Jo Brown

• What do you think? Send your letters for publication to letters@theneweuropean.co.uk and read all of our letters by picking up a copy of our newspaper every Thursday.

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