Labour has NOT checkmated itself on #Brexit. Avoid commentators who do not consider all options

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell: Their strategy on Brexit is stronger than some commentators would have you believe.

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell: Their strategy on Brexit is stronger than some commentators would have you believe [Image: Getty].

Tax barrister and former Ed Miliband advisor Jolyon Maugham wants you to think John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn have painted themselves into a corner on Brexit.

He says they have left themselves powerless after Mr McDonnell said Labour would not block or delay any legislation to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and leave the EU.

But he is not looking at the bigger picture.

There is nothing to stop Labour from asserting its demands for full, tariff-free access to the single market and protection of UK jobs and living standards before any legislation reaches Parliament.

If the Tories refuse to include it in their deal, and present an Article 50 Bill without it, Labour may then wave it through, saying a quick resolution to the issue is what the people of the UK want, and that the consequences are the responsibility of the Conservative Government.

So, after the legislation has gone through – in whatever form – Labour ends up in an excellent position.

Mr McDonnell (and Mr Corbyn) will be able to say one of two things: Their party ensured the deal under which the UK leaves the EU includes the necessary protections for trade and jobs; or that the lack of such protections is entirely the fault of the Conservative Party.

Those are both excellent positions from which to campaign in a general election.

Perhaps Mr Maugham didn’t think of them because he’s too busy fretting over whether Parliament has control.

Speaking yesterday on the economy John McDonnell gave a little more detail of the Labour Party’s position on Brexit. “It’s time we all were more positive about Brexit,” he said, in words that will have surprised few observers of Labour’s referendum campaign.

And he continued: “We are insisting on full, tariff-free access to the Single Market for our businesses because this is the best way to protect jobs and living standards here.”

“Labour wants to see an ambitious Brexit Britain.

“And the British public know that only a Labour government can make an economic success of Brexit, as we are the only party prepared to make the hard choices, and invest seriously to grow a post-Brexit Britain we can all be proud of.”

Labour has said it will not block or delay an Article 50 Bill. This would seem to have as its consequence that Labour will not seek to amend it either. Tabling Amendments to the Bill in the Commons or Lords will inevitably cause delay. And how, without the sanction of blocking or delaying a Bill that does not contain them, is Labour to compel the government to adopt its amendments? This stance would hand complete control of Brexit negotiations over to the government.

Source: Labour has checkmated itself on Brexit

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4 thoughts on “Labour has NOT checkmated itself on #Brexit. Avoid commentators who do not consider all options

  1. Claire Spencer

    Corbyn is a big let down, they could just block any legislation. They’re living in fantasy land if they think they could access the single market tariff free. The simple facts are you have to be a member of this club to enjoy the benefits. Why is this so hard to understand?

  2. Michael Broadhurst

    excellent positions for Labour to campaign from would be Corbyn to keep telling everyone what of the Tory lesgislation they would repeal,bedroom tax,illegal sanctions,zero hour contracts,the introduction of a REAL living wage,the scrapping of the robbing council tax,the scrapping of fat cat salaries and gold plated pensions in local govt admin/bankers bonus’s,rent cap which would only affect the few and not a housing benefit cap which affects the many,renationallisation of public transport/gas/electric/wate,and to bring back legal aid..
    things that affect everyone’s daily lives,except most MPs who dont live in the real world.
    keep trumpeting these things from the rooftops as often as the Tories repeated their lies over the years,then perhaps people might vote Labour.

  3. Barry Davies

    Well it is an impossibility for any government anywhere in the world to guarantee jobs so there is no valid argument to demand it, Ed (fratricidal) Milliband, made a mess of being leader so perhaps it would be better just to tell Corbyn what mistakes he made so corny can learn from them instead of trying to say what he should do.

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