Thursday 4 April 2019

What would Jeremy Corbyn do if Theresa May agrees to his Brexit plan?

Theresa May left it very late indeed to talk to the one man who can ensure (probably) that Brexit passes the House of Commons, Jeremy Corbyn. She should have done so in 2016.

She is partly doing so to let him share the blame for a Brexit with no deal or a Brexit with a bad deal, which seem to be the only two choices. 

But the two parties have in theory very close views about Brexit. Labour is in theory in favour of a Brexit while remaining in a permanent customs union, in other words having a permanent intended backstop, while an unnamed government source told the Times: 
“We can’t say this but if you look at the political declaration you could argue that we’ve signed up to a customs union in all but name anyway" 

adding that the big difference was that Labour wanted that the UK to have a seat at the table in the negotiation of future trade deals between the EU and third parties. 
“We don’t think Brussels will offer that. But that is their problem not ours.”
In the end, Theresa May in the twilight of her rule came down against the Brexiteers and in favour of any deal being better than no deal. 

She is reported to want to continue as Prime Minister till September, which seems incredible, and wants to do so to prevent Brexiteer Boris Johnson succeeding her.  

Whatever happens one thing everyone should agree on. The Tories should have chosen a Leave true believer as their leader in 2016 and have to do so now. No-one else can credibly  lead negotiations with the EU or them into an election.

Labour's official position is a masterpiece of ambiguity. They want Brexit on their own terms, which include permanent membership of the customs union and copying and pasting EU employment legislation,  but if that is not possible then they want another referendum. 

This has enabled Labour to be both Leave and Remain, a trick they somehow pulled off in the 2017 election. If Mrs May gives them exactly the deal they want many Labour MPs will still demand a second referendum, as shadow foreign secretary Lady Nugee said today.

Both Mrs May and Mr Corbyn will do what they judge to be in their party's interest. Saving the UK from leaving with no deal would help Jeremy Corbyn sell his Brexit, even though it is clear that no deal won't happen unless the EU wants it and they don't. 

But if his deal is accepted by the Government he owns it and he will be hated by Remainers for allowing Brexit to happen.

Although he is privately a convinced Leaver, and not the Remainer he pretends to be, he would do better from his point of view to go for a long delay, which I expect the EU to grant, in other words to do what Mrs. May always does, kick the can down the road.

Mrs Balls’ private member's bill forcing the Government to request an extension of Article 50 passed its third reading in the House of Commons by one vote last night, with the help of 20 Tory rebels, 17 of whom were former ministers, seven of them former Cabinet ministers.

Is this that the Commons has proposed and approved a bill against the will of the government? 

It will pass the House of Lords probably today, despite filibustering, and Mrs May can then advise the Queen to veto it - the first time a monarch has done so since Queen Anne. 

But it no longer matters. The Government now opposes no deal and it is for the EU to decide, unanimously, if a long or short further delay is possible. 

They would be foolish not to agree to whatever we want as they now, it pains me to say, have a good chance that Brexit will never happen. In theory if Mr Salvini or Mr Orban wanted to help Nigel Farage they might veto a delay but they won't and nor will Mr Macron, who is playing games by suggesting he might.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to impossible to think about, I've tried... Reuters puts it better than I could:

    In short - authorship seems of the essence & dully resolved by no clear attribution... [the fashion now?]

    I am gratuitously pleased of the location.