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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
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