Corbyn needs to take a stand against Brexit - expert

There's not going to be an easy way for Britain to extract itself from the Brexit mess, according to a Kiwi international relations expert.

Prime Minister Theresa May has resigned after three failed attempts, and her likely successor Boris Johnson appears happy to let the UK crash out of Europe without a deal in October, despite the trade chaos that would bring.

University of Otago international relations expert Professor Robert Patman says most Brits don't want Brexit at all.

"All the polls indicate that the British public's feeling has moved decisively against it," he told Newshub.

"It's going to take some courage and some leadership - two qualities which have been sadly lacking in British politics for some time."

Virtually every single poll taken on the matter in the past year has shown stronger support for remaining in the EU than leaving.

Dr Patman says there's no painless solution, but there is one obvious way out.

"I think the way out of this crisis is for the Labour Party to decisively come out against Brexit. So far, [leader Jeremy] Corbyn has been sitting on the fence."

Corbyn has called for a snap election.

"The Conservative Party has utterly failed the country over Brexit and is unable to improve people's lives or deal with their most pressing needs. Parliament is deadlocked and the Conservatives offer no solutions to the other major challenges facing our country," he said.

"Whoever becomes the new Conservative leader must let the people decide our country's future, through an immediate general election."

Dr Patman says the EU might force the UK's hand by kicking it out.

"There's no realistic option, but the way that Britain could leave is it could be pushed out by the EU or it could just leave without any agreement. That doesn't look possible, because parliament would not support that."

Either way, he says Brexit will impact New Zealand's trade relationship with the UK, despite Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern securing a post-Brexit agreement with the UK in January.

New Zealand is presently negotiating a free-trade deal with the EU.



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