Corbyn is betraying most of his own voters on Europe
This is Jeremy Corbyn’s position on the EU as explained to Andrew Marr.
We want tariff free trade access with the European Single Market.
We have gone over the lunacy of this position in detail before.
Here is a brief recap.
What Corbyn wants isn’t technically impossible but it is politically impossible.
Not only has the EU consistently told us so, but all of the real world examples show us that they are not going to make an exception in this case. Countries that have access to the Single Market, like the EFTA countries, are not in the customs union so they experience tariffs. All of them get Single Market access by accepting a whole host of EU rules and regulations, including free movement of people which is something Labour is committed to stopping.
By aiming for a highly improbable goal, Corbyn is either incompetent or disingenuous, which is a tragedy when the stakes are so high. Something has to give. If Corbyn was actually doing the negotiations, he would either have to drastically soften his stance or emerge with a deal in which our trade position with Europe will suffer tremendously.
I guess it’s easy to promote an unachievable goal when you are not in opposition. However, it should be worrying for democracy that his goal is not too dissimilar to the Tory one he should be trying to mitigate.
What is striking about Corbyn’s position is that it is in contravention of what most Labour voters want.
65 percent of 2015 Labour voters were remainers so it is safe to say they were happy remaining in the Single Market.
We see from the Ashcroft Exit polls for the 2017 General Election that Labour were by far the most popular party amongst remainers.
Corbyn is justifying his position by saying we must fulfil the will of the people who voted to leave the EU.
This point was backed up by his Shadow Minister for Trade, Barry Gardiner, in his recent and rather disturbing Guardian article.
Most trade agreements arise from a desire to liberalise trade – making it easier to sell goods and services into one another’s markets. Brexit will not. Brexit arose from key political, rather than trade, objectives: to have control over our borders, to have sovereignty over our laws, not to submit to the European court of justice (ECJ), and not to pay money into the European budget. When negotiations start it will be the first time countries seek a trade agreement with the clear understanding that they are increasing barriers between them.
Gardiner is telling us that this is the first trade deal in history designed to make people worse off and he is supporting it because that is what people chose.
Gardiner is being honest about the destination but the justification of why we are heading for that destination is unsubstantiated.
Only a small majority of people voted to leave the EU and not all of them voted to leave the single market.
In fact many of the key Brexiteers were promoting either remaining in it or joining EFTA. Something they would have known involved accepting free movement of people and letting the EU control many UK laws and regulations.
Just check out this video for proof of that fact.
Really what Corbyn is promoting is his own personal ideology.
It is no secret that he is no fan of the European Union.
However, he owes it to the public and Labour voters, in particular, to have a sensible policy or at least to be clear about the consequences of it.
His party is the most popular with remain voters yet they are just as in favour of a hard Brexit as the Tories. They may talk a better game but without a realistic plan then Corbyn should be preparing us for the repercussions of making UK/EU trade more difficult.
His current policy is completely delusional. He is chasing something that is not possible and justifying his actions on a debatable interpretation of what those who narrowly voted for Brexit wanted.
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