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Why Labour's leader has to perform a Brexit balancing act | Politics | The Guardian
Anand Menon, the director of the thinktank Britain in a Changing Europe, said the constructive ambiguity of playing to the audiences of both leavers and remainers, was never going to hold for ever.

“I think Jeremy’s actually played it really, really well, and the 2017 election result was the proof of that,” Menon said. “But I think it was always going to get hard come decision time. He’s just been unlucky, in the sense that decision time has lasted six months rather than a week.”

However grave Labour’s challenges, the prime minister’s appear worse. As one shadow cabinet member put it: “We still think there’s a bit of road left. The Tories could break before we do"
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yesterday by petej
May’s desperate pitch for cross-party unity is a leap into the dark | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
The surprise is that Brexit has still not forced any substantial correction of lazy Euro-bashing rhetoric with facts about British interests and the way they were served by EU membership. Continental leaders thought the pragmatic diplomat they dealt with in Brussels was the real Britain and the spittle-spraying nationalist was a stock character, strutting the repertory stage. It turns out to be the other way around. Or rather, the Conservative party has strapped the grimacing mask so tightly to its face that it is no longer a mask. Those are now the distorted features we show to the world.

This is not just disorienting for our neighbours. Millions of people feel that Brexit is a kind of performance that ran out of control; a mirthless carnival that spilled out of some fevered imaginations, captured Westminster and has nothing left to demand now beyond the right to continue spreading chaos. And seeing that spectacle, the question being asked in many European capitals and in many British homes is no longer how Brexit can be resolved. It goes deeper. They ask where the country they knew before Brexit has gone.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  MayTheresa  softBrexit  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  customsUnion  Article50  extension  trust  CooperYvette  LetwinOliver  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
15 days ago by petej
May’s bombshell means Little English revolution is over | Paul Mason | Opinion | The Guardian
There are people on the remain side who have convinced themselves that an otherised, alien, hostile entity called the “working class” wants Brexit so badly that there will be a far-right revolt if a new referendum is called. All the deep polling shows this is nonsense. There have, as promises turned to dust, been clear swings among working-class women, Muslim voters and low-paid young people, leaving a polling majority for remain.

For certain, a second referendum will be difficult. But mass ideologies deflate suddenly. There cannot legitimately be a no-deal option on the ballot paper – in which case, I expect the minority of dedicated white nationalists and xenophobes to throw the towel in. We need to break it to them as gently as possible, and offer as many as possible a way back to consensus politics, but May’s bombshell means simply: the Little English nationalist revolution is over.

On the left side of politics, I expect some of the Labour MPs (and a few frontbenchers) who have voted against the second referendum to conduct a rearguard action that would delink any deal agreed from a people’s vote. But this too is a non-starter, especially among Labour’s membership. Corbyn should resist any backbench attempts to resolve this crisis over the heads of the British electorate.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  MayTheresa  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  softBrexit  customsUnion  referendum  PeoplesVote  nationalism  xenophobia  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
15 days ago by petej
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 
5 weeks ago by petej
Why a no-deal Brexit is likely - ITV News
11) The probability of the EU giving the UK as long as it realistically needs to recover from its Brexit nervous breakdown and say with clarity what kind of future relationship it wants with the EU is infinitesimally tiny.
UK  EU  Brexit  MayTheresa  noDeal  politics  backstop  CorbynJeremy  customsUnion  negotiations  dctagged  dc:creator=PestonRobert 
9 weeks 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.”
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9 weeks ago by petej
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