EU referendum: Would the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party make Brexit more likely?

Jeremy Corbyn: Could the "cosy EU consensus" within Labour be shattered?

Robert Oxley, campaign director of Business for Britain, says Yes

You don’t have to support Jeremy Corbyn, nor agree with his views on a range of subjects, to recognise his election would make Brexit more likely.

His proposal for Labour to hold a special conference to decide its response to the EU referendum is a significant event, with consequences even if the Islington MP does not win. The result of such a conference would be an honest debate about the party’s stance towards the EU, meaning that Labour’s official position could more closely represent its members’ views on the matter.

For too long, successive Labour leaderships have been able to ignore the Euroscepticism of working class voters, preferring unflinching support of the EU.

The treatment of Greece and the rise of Ukip as Labour’s real opposition in the north have shone a spotlight on the gulf between Labour’s roots and its leadership.

Corbyn’s candidacy could mean that the cosy EU consensus at the top of Labour could easily be shattered.

Matthew Sinclair, senior consultant at Europe Economics, says No

It is no accident that the most prominent campaign sceptical of the UK’s current EU membership is called Business for Britain.

The most serious concern voters will have in the run-up to the EU referendum is the potential that leaving might hurt the UK economy and thereby imperil their jobs. If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader of Labour, it might change the character of that debate.

If voters want to leave the EU in order to embrace pro-trade market liberalism, most business leaders will not lose too much sleep.

If there is any sense, voters want to leave so they can nationalise industries or block foreign investment, reversing decades of economic reforms, then the Out campaign will have a mountain to climb convincing business not to defend the UK’s membership to the hilt.

The Out campaign might welcome another ally in Labour, but does it really want a national referendum on the merits of divisive characters like Nigel Farage and Corbyn?

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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