Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham is to call on Labour MPs to fight for a “fair Brexit”, accusing Theresa May of following a hard-line, right-wing agenda.
Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Burnham will today say that May has positioned herself to the right of Leave campaigners.
“By rejecting a points-based system, failing to secure the status of EU nationals already here and turning her back on the refugee crisis, she is isolating Britain, risking our economy and creating hostility on our streets,” Burnham is expected to say.
“A hard Brexit will hurt our economy, hit the poorest areas hardest and turn Britain into a place it has never been: divided, hostile, narrow-minded.
“It will make life harder for British businesses, lead to a battle of tit-for-tat with the EU and risk the imposition of a US-style ESTA on British travellers - a £50 holiday tax on a family of five,” he will add.
But Burnham - who will be Labour’s candidate for the first Manchester Metropolitan Area mayor - is also expected to say Labour must acknowledge that roughly one-in-three party supporters is estimated to have voted against the official party line, and backed Brexit.
“The truth is the EU was working better for some parts of our country than it was for others. For some of our country's least affluent areas, it wasn't working well at all,” he will say.
“These were the places that lost industry, got no real help to replace those good jobs and saw a collapse in property prices and whole streets bought up by absent private landlords.”
He will add that Labour was too slow to acknowledge the concerns of party supporters.
“We must now put that right and develop fair Brexit plans that respond to their concerns. But we signal today that we will oppose Theresa May’s hard Brexit plans that risk Britain’s international relationships, prosperity and community cohesion,” Burnham will say.