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Corbyn doesn't appear in Jonathan Lis' account of his discussions with Brussels officials at all, so either he is off the radar, viewed as not relevant at the moment (as he is not involved in the negotiations), or Jonathan didn't record that part of their conversation.

Steven Erlanger mentions Corbyn twice - once in a direct quote from Tomas Valasek, a former Slovak diplomat who lived in Britain for many years and now directs Carnegie Europe, a Brussels-based research institution. "After Brexit, no one is trying to help now. They've given up. Nobody on the Continent really cares that much about Britain anymore. Even worse, people feel the country will fall into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and that will do more damage than Brexit itself."

Firstly Valasek runs a US funded foundation, and secondly he represented a former communist controlled eastern European state whose governments have all turned sharply to the right. Nostalgia for a socialist past doesn't seem to be their thing.

Erlanger's own dig at Corbyn "the old hard lefty Jeremy Corbyn is leading the opposition Labour Party back into an equally fantastical socialist past" didn't strike me as central to his narrative and was perhaps little more than a New York Times editor assuring his readership of his conservative bona fides and that his analysis of the UK's travails didn't arise from antipathy to a conservative government. After all, he speaks of approvingly of the 1980's - the Thatcher years - when "Britain mattered internationally".

I have no doubt that EU officials would welcome Corbyn coming into power, given Labour's recent statement supporting continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union. Then all that would have to be negotiated is a political cooperation agreement governing aviation, medicines, security cooperation and  and radioactive materials.

No complex trade deal or transition arrangements to negotiate. No Irish border issue to untangle. Little would change except that the UK would have no say on the future development of the EU. Given the hard right turn in much of European politics, Corbyn's absence from the EU Council would not be missed by many. More's the pity. The UK could actually have made a positive contribution to the EU.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 12:29:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I have no doubt that EU officials would welcome Corbyn coming into power"

I beg to differ.
Yes, they all know that it would be better for the relationship between the UK and the EU. Also that it would be better for the EU.

But almost all of them are economically firmly-right to far-right governments. Even Sweden has drifted much further to the right than where we typically expect them to be. I don't think that they would welcome having a successful left-wing government in such a visible country.
Indeed, the bones thrown to prop up May post Florence seemed to me a sign of EU governments wanting to support a fellow conservative.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 09:44:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please note that I said "I have no doubt that EU Officials would welcome Corbyn coming into power".

Negotiators like to deal with an opponent who has a clear mandate and priorities for the negotiation. Also with Labour's policy switching to being in favour of remaining in Single Market and Customs Union, this removes a lot of complications from the Brexit negotiations.

Of course making the job easier for EU negotiators isn't the primary consideration for many EU national Governments. I did say that "Corbyn's absence from the EU Council would not be missed by many" which is probably an understatement in the case of many right wing governments.

But I do think we have to make a distinction between right wing national governments and the EU Officials charged with negotiating a Brexit agreement.

We also have to make a distinction between allowing the EU continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union and allowing it to have a direct political role in the future development of the EU.  Right wing governments will be happy to concede the former, but not the latter with Corbyn in power. Another reason why retracting an A50 notification may not be as straightforward as some seem to believe.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 10:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh my you are right. What a glaring oversight on my part...

So, fully agree with you.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 10:43:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn doesn't figure in the Brussels account because it would b undiplomatic of the EU negotiators to facto him in explicitly.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 11:39:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes - I should have said that as well. EU officials tend to be quite punctilious about dealing only with elected governments of member states, thus no talks/recognition of Catalonia or Scotland. Barnier has met with some Remainer opposition politicians, but also offered to meet Farage when he protested. Governments are quite jealous of protecting their prerogative to be the only voice representing their country at official/diplomatic/political levels.  All else can be construed as "interfering in the internal affairs of a member state", something the Commission can only officially do if mandated by a Treaty.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 11:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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