Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Personally I was always a fan of the constructive ambiguity of Labour's previous position. It allowed all parts of the Labour coalition to criticize the Govt without any need to worry about going against the "party line".

Jeremy Corbyn has always had issues with the EU, especially viewing the euro and ECB having baked neo-liberal economic policy into its foundation. Equaly, having voted to Leave, Corbyn and many people in the party who genuinely respect democratically agreed decisions felt somewhat constrained in going against the expressed will of the people.

Now, we can argue till the ends of the earth about what it might have been that this "expressed will" actually, but in a Yes/No decision, it's hard to argue that, if the majority vote "no", then they really meant "yes".

So, this is actually a much more major step for the Labour party in general than many are willing to concede.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 03:26:15 PM EST
although some would suggest nothing's changed

Political Scrapbook - Mike Sivier - Why are people saying Labour's attitude to Brexit has changed? It hasn't

This is a public relations move.

With the Tories weakened, Labour is in an excellent position to exploit their divisions.

By acting decisively - setting out positive terms for forward movement that expose the Conservatives' "constructive ambiguity" as the waffle that it is - Mr Starmer and Labour have shown that they are prepared to make the decisions that David Davis and his ill-prepared negotiators won't - or can't, because their party is divided on it?

With the EU Withdrawal Bill back in the Commons for its Second Reading on September 7, Labour has a chance to woo pro-EU Tory MPs towards what is, let's face it, a clear plan for progress.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 03:36:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
During the referendum campaign, virtually all Brexiteers ruled out leaving the Single market, and argued that it was the EU's political move towards "an ever closer Union" that they were opposed to. They spoke of Norway,, Switzerland and Albania (!) as possible models to follow.

The notion of a hard Brexit, involving leaving the Single Market and customs Union only became Government policy some time after the referendum, and arguably May's failure to gain a majority in the subsequent general election meant she had no mandate for that change of tack.

So Labour is really only going back to the centre ground of UK politics, accepting the referendum result but insisting on remaining in the Single market and Customs union for at least a transitional period, and possibly indefinitely, depending on what deal they can negotiate.

And they now have a consistent basis on which to oppose Tory policy, and can't be accused of opportunism or a lack of patriotism if the Tories come back with a deal for anything else.

You are, of course correct that Corbyn was never an EU enthusiast, but the objections you cite relate primarily to the Eurozone of which the UK was never a member.

The UK has generally led the neo-liberal charge within the EU, so his objections were often as much against the UK's influence within the EU, as against the EU itself, and in particular the "social market" philosophies which used to be the characteristic input of social democratic parties.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 03:46:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When all this is over, we're gonna have cause to be jealous of the Albanian model

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 03:48:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour's policy shift
Labour's ambiguity on Brexit was driven by the political imperative before the election to avoid alienating supporters who voted Leave and to prevent the Conservatives from making Brexit the central choice in the election.

The strategy was successful, but political conditions have changed since the election, not least because of Corbyn's success in holding Labour seats in its industrial heartland and making gains in the southeast and in Scotland.

Most of Labour's gains - and its new target seats - are in areas which voted Remain, and recent polls show clear majorities among Labour supporters and members for a clear policy in favour of a soft Brexit.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 06:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

Does anyone care?

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 10

The Blame Game

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 8

EU-UK Relations: Trading Blows

by Oui - Oct 8

John Major's Encore

by ARGeezer - Sep 27

Scamming the peace

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 2

Wrightbus goes wrong

by Frank Schnittger - Sep 26

Occasional Series