Martyn Richard Jones
Madrid, Sunday 23rd December 2018
What’s all this fuss about Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s Brexit strategy?
Despite Liberal Democrats, Blairites and most of the national media ramping up the righteous outrage about Corbyn stating the bleeding, bloody obvious (see e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/23/labour-remain-jeremy-corbyn-brexit ) nothing has changed.
So, what are the facts?
Labour do not command a majority in the House of Commons.
The Conservatives, with the paid-help of the DUP, do command a majority in the House.
What are the current options?
MPs are due to vote on May’s proposed Brexit plan. The alternative to that plan is for the UK to fall out of the EU with only the barest of preparation. The Labour leadership are not in favour of either of those plans.
So, how do Labour see the Brexit process unfolding in 2019?
- May will not get any additional meaningful concessions from the EU
- The PM loses the parliamentary vote (the meaningful vote) on her unique Brexit plan
- Parliament explicitly rejects the EU no-deal exit option
- A vote of no confidence in the government is placed
- The government loses the no confidence vote
- General elections are called and held
- Labour wins – Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM
- Labour government asks the EU to reconsider the deal. The EU make some cosmetic changes. Just enough to be presented as the best Brexiting option.
- The options are presented, debated and voted on, by the UK parliament.
- As a result, Article 50 is revoked.
So, it’s not rocket surgery or brain science. There’s nothing difficult to it. No need to take notice of exuberant fools, characters and charlatans flouncing on and off the social media stage, or to take notice of any superficial and narrow-minded Brexit bollox they may want to whine about. This is just politics.
So why isn’t Corbyn pre-empting all of this? Simples! Because of the nature of politics. Like it or not, the process has to be played out, if only to avoid massive unintended consequences in the chain of events. There is a logic to it, as much as it can be immensely frustrating. We are so used to short-termism. We are so enamoured of the “If I can’t have it right now, I don’t want it” mentality. We are so predictably flighty and fanciful. But this is not the time for lazy shallow-mindedness. We also need to be able to handle the longer game, like mature critical-thinking adults.
So, simply stated:
- There is a chronic and widespread failure, amplified by certain opportunistic and populist politicians and most of the media, to actually listen effectively and accurately analyze and then represent what is being said by Corbyn and his team.
- If Corbyn shows all his cards now then that’s just plain suicidal. Which may explain why he hasn’t opted to do so.
- If Corbyn publishes the strategic plan and tactics for Brexit, then that would be suicidal too.
- If Corbyn plays a bad hand and calls for the withdrawal of Article 50 too soon… then that could see the end to any chance of Labour getting into government or Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.
- This is what many Tories, the Lib Dems and many Blairites want. This would seriously damage the Labour Party and could pave a way to a clear and unhindered right-wing Tory-driven exit from the EU.
So, ignore the Lib Dems and their parochial search for minority support. Ignore the media, the foolish media pundits and their mendacious, misleading and malignant campaigns against Jeremy Corbyn. We are not leaving the EU.
We are in the EU to stay, but, it’s going to take a few days to go through all of the motions needed in order to get us to “yes, we are where we belong”.
That’s all from me for today. Many thanks for giving me your time and please don’t hesitate to leave your comments below. So, until our paths cross next time.
Bye for now.
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