Labour’s Brexit dilemma

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Labour set six tests a Brexit Deal had to meet to gain its support. These require:

  • Fair migration system for UK business and communities
  • Retaining strong, collaborative relationship with EU
  • Protecting national security and tackling cross-border crime
  • Delivering for all nations and regions of the UK
  • Protecting workers' rights and employment protections
  • Ensuring same benefits currently enjoyed within single market

I have read some of the Brexit documentation overnight. It could be argued that, so soft is the Brexit offered and so open-ended the commitment to staying aligned with the EU, that these terms may well have been met, for now, impossible as that seemed to be when Keir Starmer suggested them.

In that case Labour is in trouble. It can’t support the No Deal some commentators on here from the Left appear to so desperately want and which Labour is absolutely certain not to deliver.

Nor is it likely to support the government. Then it shares the blame.

There will be some frantic reading of the 585 page main text to find distinctions, I suspect, probably going on right now.

Otherwise, as I will argue in my next blog post, Labour really has to argue to stay and reform. It is the only credible position, not least because this way it achieves control, and that is the only thing this deal does not deliver.

But let me also be clear what it does not deliver. It comes nowhere near the Lexiteers dream of removing restrictions on state aid, allowing flexible financing and permitting nationalisation at will. But Labour never asked for those things, even if it should have been. And as a result, and as I will note in the next blog, the only way those can be secured is by staying in and demanding them, which is precisely why the Lexiteers have their arguments wrong.