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Labour’s Brexit Policy |
To sum up – I started with three simple rival ‘narratives’ of Labour’s underlying position on Brexit. I’ve articulated my own interpretation of Labour’s position, which implies that all of these narratives have something to them. In my view, Labour’s preferred Brexit outcome involves significant breaks with existing EU governance rules. The leadership wants those breaks to be in the area of neoliberal constraints on socialist policy-making; much of the PLP wants those breaks to be in the area of freedom of movement. In a scenario where Labour is in government without the Brexit deal having been concluded, those two categories of negotiating priority will be in tension. Nevertheless, the tension between those two categories of negotiating priority is (I would argue) not as fundamental as the tension between some of the Conservatives’ commitments. Moreover, unlike the Conservatives, Labour have been quite careful not to articulate any commitments that cannot be backed down from towards greater compatibility with existing EU rules. Thus in a scenario in which Labour were negotiating with the EU, I would expect Labour to make an effort to achieve a set of concessions around EU rules, and if those concessions could not be achieved, to capitulate in the direction of a more liberal existing-EU-institutions-aligned position.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  Remain  Leave  trade  economy  Bennism  Euroscepticism  immigration  borders  freedomOfMovement  customsUnion  singleMarket  ambiguity  tactics  flexibility  ToryParty  redLines  negotiations  strategy 
6 days ago by petej
Brexit and Europe from the perspective of a citizen of nowhere | Richard Seymour on Patreon
A brisker way to put this is that capital can't be a citizen of nowhere, because it is loyal to what exists. The name for ‘nowhere’ used to be utopia, literally a non-place. To be a citizen of nowhere is to be a utopian, to have loyalties to a country that doesn't yet exist. And it may be the only space from which the apparent choice between Europeanism and racist nationalism is apprehensible as a double-bind.
Europe  identity  mythology  history  migration  borders  Frontex  refugees  Mediterranean  Turkey  Brexit  Leave  Islamophobia  UK  politics  territory  capitalism  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard 
25 days ago by petej
Interview with Kenneth Clarke on Brexit - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Clarke: It's a very nasty climate out there. People are retreating into angry simplicities. Half the population is angry about politicians not getting on with it, they're not following the detail, they haven't a clue what the Irish backstop is, and they couldn't care less. They just want it to be over. The other half does follow quite fairly, intensely, more than usual. They are divided in angry remainers who are ever more ferociously for remaining and angry leavers who ever more ferociously feel they are being betrayed.
UK  EU  politics  Brexit  ClarkeKenneth  interview  DerSpiegel  ToryParty  withdrawalAgreement  compromise  backstop  ERG  nationalism  ThatcherMargaret  DelorsJacques  MaastrichtTreaty  Euro  CameronDavid  polarisation  Leave  Remain 
27 days ago by petej
Why A No-Deal Brexit Is Now Theresa May's Fallback Plan To Save Her Party – And Herself | HuffPost UK
One source says: “She’s been told – ‘You need to understand prime minister, it’s very simple maths – the ERG [European Research Group] will fuck you, fuck the Conservative party and they will throw themselves over a cliff. Your Remainer colleagues will not’. It’s who’s got the biggest balls.”

“The Remainers need a gameplan to show Julian [Smith] is wrong on this. At the moment, they are rolling over having tummies tickled. And she’s thrown all her weight behind the chief whip.

“She gets to save her party and potentially gets to live for another day. She will be the PM who delivered Brexit. She can blame Parliament and Tusk, Juncker and the EU [for no-deal] and say I managed it as best as anyone could.

“She’s home and dry as long as she sits tight with the Brexiteers who only a few weeks ago wanted her head. It’s utterly tragic.”


“A lot of people are in despair. The sensible ones have their head in their hands, the nutters we kept at the door for 40 odd years are now in control. We thought they were dead after they didn’t get rid of her. They are back in control, because they are willing to blow the house up.”
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  noDeal  MayTheresa  negotiations  backstop  DUP  meaningfulVote  SmithJulian  LewisBrandon  ToryParty  customsUnion  CorbynJeremy  LancasterHouse  WilkinsChris  FoxLiam  customsArrangement  Chequers  regulatoryAlignment  BradyGraham  amendments  ERG  immigration  Leave  politics 
5 weeks ago by petej
'It is terrible but I still want it': Crewe voters size up no-deal Brexit | Politics | The Guardian
“Look at this,” he said, pointing to a paragraph about negotiating a banking collapse. “This is what’s coming.” He’d been stockpiling tins for months. A no-deal Brexit was going to make everyone poorer, he said. But it was worth it, if it meant the UK got control over immigration. That’s why he voted to leave the European Union: “We’ve got too many of them coming over here and I want it to stop.”
UK  EU  Brexit  Leave  noDeal  stockpiling  shortage  poverty  immigration  SmithLaura  CooperYvette  amendments  xenophobia  Crewe 
6 weeks ago by petej
I work at a Wetherspoons in grim conditions – and Tim Martin’s clueless Brexit bleating is driving me mad | The Independent
It is nothing short of perverse that it’s the organisation’s bar associates – the lowest-paid and most migrant-heavy layer of the workforce – who are responsible for distributing Martin’s politics in pubs up and down the country. Through content in the magazine, on leaflets and even on beer mats, we are essentially instructed to propagandise for a policy that promises to make our livelihoods more precarious.

Brexit has always been driven by the central xenophobic lie that blames the decline of living standards on foreign workers. Yet when you contrast the extreme wealth of Wetherspoon’s shareholders with what I see as poverty wages granted to all its employees, it’s all too clear in my mind that it’s not migrants who drive down wages, it’s exploitative bosses.
UK  Brexit  Wetherspoons  MartinTim  pay  wages  conditions  propaganda  Leave  migrants  rights  freedomOfMovement  exploitation 
7 weeks ago by petej
Only a rupture with the EU will alter the failed status quo | Larry Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit, the gilets jaunes protesters in France, the terrible pain inflicted on Greece and the support for the League/Five Star government in Italy all tell their own story. Europe is alive with political discontent that reflects the demand for deep and urgent reform, but the chances of getting it are less likely if the status quo prevails.

Why? Because the forces of conservatism are strong. Change comes about only when the pressure for it becomes too great to resist. The financial crisis provided one such opportunity to reform an economic system that for many people clearly wasn’t working; Brexit was a second. The left’s case for Brexit has always been based on the following notions: the current economic model is failing; socialism is needed to fix it; and the free-market ideology hardwired into the EU via the European Central Bank, judgments of the European court of justice and treaty changes will make that process all but impossible without a break with the status quo.

It is theoretically possible that in the event of a “Brexit in name only” or no Brexit at all, policymakers will push ahead with what’s needed in order to make a reality of the slogan “a reformed Britain in a reformed Europe”. Possible but not all that plausible, given that it would require breaking up the euro, more autonomy for individual countries to intervene in the running of their economies, and a simultaneous philosophical U-turn in the big member states.

Much more likely is that the pressure for change will dissipate and the real grievances of those who voted for Brexit will be quietly forgotten. The softer the Brexit, the more convinced the EU will be that it has been doing the right thing all along. Britain will not go up in flames, but there will still be consequences. Leave voters will feel they have been victims of an establishment stitch-up. The anger will not go away and will eventually resurface.

The risk is that the losers will be the biggest supporters of the EU – the liberal left. And the biggest winners will be the extreme right.
UK  EU  Brexit  TheLeft  Lexit  Leave  finance  crisis  economy  productivity  ECB  Euro  reform  farRight  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
8 weeks ago by petej
Taking back control? Brexit seems to offer exactly the opposite | Politics | The Guardian
Two male Ukip protesters, who won’t share their names, blame “fake news”, under which they classify all major media, with no exceptions. “Leave means leave. We’re not unreasonable,” insists the younger man, dressed in a parka and blue jeans. He describes himself as “a citizen journalist from southwest London”. About the Soubry incident, he is flippant: “This is a Westminster bubble, that’s how people talk in the pub. Get used to it. There is no such thing as hate speech, it’s just different opinions. I find your paper offensive. I won’t shut you down or get you arrested.”

On the street, the man still bellowing a full-throated “out means out” is enraged by a host of conspiracy theories he believes in. “I find news the way I need to find it,” he says when asked about his information. “I research people that I get it off. If I can get it from a family member then that’s it. If you were on my side, you’d be doing all that.”

The country should prepare for riots, he says. “They can’t expect the people to be law-abiding citizens when government is as corrupt as it is. All them people in here,” he claims, “are getting paid backhanders all the way through the system.”
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  politics  polarisation  division  threats  intimidation  SoubryAnna  YellowVestsUK  CoxJo  farRight  BercowJohn  MayTheresa  ClarkeKenneth  Leave  conspiracyTheory 
9 weeks ago by petej
‘We're reactivating the people’s army’: inside the battle for a hard Brexit | World news | The Guardian
Now it’s time for strategy, as Farage tells supporters how to confront MPs. “I don’t want you writing letters to them. Go and visit them at their surgeries, queue around the block, meet them face to face, make them feel the heat, make them understand that being part of a customs union, being a vassal state with laws made somewhere else, is unacceptable. And that if they do this, you will never give them your vote again. Make. Them. Feel. The. Heat. We in Leave Means Leave are reactivating the people’s army.”

The language is tough and militaristic, and Farage’s delivery chilling. He warns that if he is forced to fight a second referendum we’ll see a very different Farage: “This time, no more Mr Nice Guy.” I can’t help thinking back to his victory speech after the referendum, delivered at 4am on 24 June 2016. Farage boasted that Brexit had been achieved “without a single bullet being fired”. It was only eight days after the strongly pro-EU Labour MP Jo Cox had been murdered on her way to a constituency surgery. Her killer, Thomas Mair, shouted “Keep Britain independent”and “Britain first” as he shot and stabbed her. But Farage appeared to have forgotten that.
UK  Brexit  politics  Leave  hardBrexit  LeaveMeansLeave  FarageNigel  populism  Bolton  UKIP  middleClass  Birmingham  Bournemouth  referendum  activism 
9 weeks ago by petej
mainly macro: Brexit. Of course everyone hates a compromise, but like much else its the best option, isn't it?
According to IPSOS Mori, only a few percent of people thought the EU was an important issue in 2010. In 2015 it only occasionally reached double figures. This strongly suggests that people voted Leave not because they wanted to leave the EU for its own sake, but for what they believed would be a consequence of leaving in some other dimension. This is the key to understanding why a compromise does not work.

Most Brexit voters will not be moderately happy with a deal that makes them worse off: they will not be happy at all. Most Brexit voters will not be moderately happy with a deal that gives the UK less say in the rules the UK has to obey than when in the EU: they will not be happy at all. A true compromise is something that gives each side something, but the incredible thing about Brexit is that what most Leavers want from Brexit is not possible, yet most politicians and much of the media refuse to tell them that.

The curse of Brexit is that anyone enacting it will be unpopular, not because most Leave voters do not get all they want but because they do not get anything they want. In fact, like the snake oil analogy, they will probably be worse off or have less say. Brexit was always a fantasy, and anyone who makes Brexit concrete will fail to deliver that fantasy. As most politicians have not had the courage to call Brexit out as the fantasy it is, voters are likely to blame the politicians who fail to produce their fantasy rather than blaming themselves.
UK  EU  Brexit  Leave  delusion  economy  publicServices  sovereignty  compromise  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=Wren-LewisSimon 
9 weeks ago by petej
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