That our 3 Brexit Ministers and indeed our Tory/DUP Brexit Government look to be all over the place with regard to pursuing the Nation’s mass suicide wish is a given.
That Labour shout about the muddle and lack of policy direction from the sidelines is also a given.
But what would be different under a Corbyn Government when Labour actually shares a pretty similar Brexit agenda to the Tories? Labour’s manifesto for the 2017 General Election was clear in that it advocated leaving the EU so would they not be in the same tangle and policy black hole if they had won in June as opposed to the the Tories and their DUP allies?
It strikes me as beyond belief that the major party of opposition is on the same page as the Government with regard to the most significant policy issue of a generation. Where’s the opposition? How can there be any opposition when Labour MP’s, despite their Brexit bluster, are being whipped into backing the Tories Brexit Plans whatever they may be?
It is more than likely that our economy will continue to decline because of Brexit, that jobs will be at risk, that Government revenues will fall and that public services and therefore welfare will be hit hard. On that basis how on earth is an incoming Labour Government going to fund all the myriad of things that it claims to want to fund from the public purse?
And it’s this conundrum that leads me to think that Labour, as much as the Tories, are simply not thinking through the consequences of backing Brexit whilst they try hard to be popularist. Both want to be seen as backing the 52% in the EU Referendum because they want to be pursuing the will of the electorate. Yet they both know that beneath the veil of populism Brexit means only one significant thing – a poorer country with less influence on world affairs. Neither seem to know how they will deal with these stark facts when they become the view of an electorate which will then surely turn on their leaders and blame them for misleading them about the consequences of Brexit. Well all except that section of Brexiters who bizarrely want the pain and misery for their friends, family and country.
As a Liberal and as a trade unionist my thoughts are always with those who are missing out in our society; the poor in particular are surely going to be the major losers when the economy tanks and even a Corbyn Government, should there be one, will not be able to fund the welfare system that it dreams of. They won’t fund it and other promised public expenditure because Government revenues will simply not be there and the alternative of borrowing more money will simply tip the UK economy over the edge again.
So what is Labour’s answer to Brexit? Sit and watch the Brexit 3 make a complete mess of things, blame them for the mess and point out how much better things would have gone had Labour been negotiating the UK leaving the EU? But surely that will not wash? Surely the electorate will look at Labour and say hang on a minute you wanted what the Tories wanted over Brexit so you are as much to blame as the Tories.
And there’s the rub, Labour have to hope that the Brexit 3 and our Tory Government make such a mess of the Brexit negotiations (which is in no way in the interests of the UK) that the electorate will be convinced that there was in fact a more sensible and benign way to leave the EU (although there wasn’t) and that Labour would have pursued it if it had been in Government. Best of luck with that plan Corbynistas – you need the Country to tank so you look like heroes but then you won’t have a brass Farthing to bless the poor with even if you gain power!
An opposition with a backbone is required and the way Labour are going it won’t be them.
On the day I published this posting I became aware that my own Labour MP for Sefton Central had been interviewed only hours earlier about Labour’s Brexit position and he tried hard to make things clear, or not, as the case may be:-
Emma Barnett asked the Shadow International Trade Minister Bill Esterson five times if Labour would leave the customs union on 5 Live Daily. The Politics Home web site has the video and story:-