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Labour has been spineless on this all the way along, although the Liberals were even worse and deserve to be consigned to history. Keir Starmer is even reported to be prepared to support whatever deal Boris comes back with - consigning Labour to irrelevance for the next few years, at least.

When will these guys get the message that in a democracy the duty of the opposition is to oppose the government, especially when the government is thrashing their core beliefs? Now Labour will be in no position to blame the government in the omnishambles that will ensue, they have become complicit in the process.

If the Labour leadership had had any principles, it would have opposed Brexit even after the referendum which they could legitimately claim had been a fraud. Even if you except the result, there is no shame in sticking to your principles and arguing for a second referendum on the shape of the final deal, on the basis that it is only then that the final shape of Brexit has been determined.

It happens in trade union negotiations all the time - a vote of the principle of going on strike for better terms, and then a vote on the terms of any agreement. Only a second referendum has the democratic status to undo or modify the the results of the first. But Labour were slow to support it and the Liberals too snobbish to support Labour when they finally came around to it.

They could have split the Brexit vote between the Brexit party and the Tories, and consigned one or other to history.  But that's all done now. It is they who have become an irrelevance, and Boris who calls all the shots. It doesn't matter how much damage Brexit will do now, so long as the Tory party and its funders can blame someone else. Labour will now become the useful idiots to take that blame, no doubt.

Anyone who claims the British people in 2016 voted for the train wreck that is about to happen over the next 10 years is deluded. They were misled in the worst possible way, and Labour has become complicit. And there is now no going back. The EU have done with the UK, come what may, relieved they are gone, and will consign some junior officials the thankless task of tidying up loose ends as they arise.

If anything the EU will have emerged the stronger, released from the thankless task of appeasing those who never believed in its ideals in the first place. If the EU fail to agree on the implementation of the budget and recovery plan at this summit, they can always look to their united position on the Brexit negotiations as proof that the Union can still work.

For once, it may be the dynamics of maintaining EU cohesion - rather than appeasing Brexiteers - that will have determined the outcome. Economically, no deal may be crazy, but politically we have come to the point where it might work better for the EU than even for the Brexiteers.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 01:02:55 PM EST
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