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Friday, June 16, 2017

Can Labour pull together around a sensible Brexit policy?

With Labour's Leader and Shadow Chancellor continuing to reiterate their support for a hard Brexit that will involve leaving the single market and restricting immigration, it is difficult to see why Theresa May needs to soften her stance, even if she no longer has a majority.

That message does not seem to have got through to Labour's Brexit spokesperson however who, according to the Guardian, has said that Labour will work with MPs from across the House of Commons to force Theresa May to change course on Brexit. This is despite the fact that the Labour and Tory manifestos are almost identical on this subject.

Keir Starmer told the paper: “I think there’s a majority in the House of Commons for a progressive partnership with the EU, and there’s not a majority for extreme Brexit,” he said. “I would like to see the prime minister accept that her version of extreme Brexit has been rejected, and publish different negotiating objectives, around which there could be a national consensus.”

He added: “She’s got to ditch that white paper. She’s got to take a different tone and approach; be much clearer about the single market and the customs union; she’s got to be clear that no deal is not viable; and she’s got to be clear about how she’s going to allow parliament to have a much greater role in scrutiny of that as you go through the process.”

He said businesses had told him repeatedly as he visited marginal constituencies during the election campaign that they were particularly concerned about the risk the UK could walk away from the negotiations without a deal – something May and Davis have stressed is a possibility.

“She’s got to drop the idea that no deal is a viable option. No deal means not just no deal on trade, but it means you have not reached an agreement about anything,” he said, pointing to potential difficulties with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; with regulations governing air travel into and out of the EU; and with customs checks."

All of this is common sense, but surely he needs to get his own leader and shadow chancellor on board before Labour can be considered to be credible on this subject.
Great stuff Peter. A sensible, rational voice in these crazy Brexit days.
They are still sitting on the fence waiting to fall off this side or that side. However I believe they know that Brexit is a disaster and will try to influence a U turn(oops, one of them again). They can then say they saved the country from going off a cliff as the mood of the people changes. They will then reap the rewards.
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