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For the sake of working people, the left must back remain | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
If there is a second referendum, Labour will back remain. How it campaigns will matter as never before. Remain’s chances will rest squarely on winning back Labour leave voters – making a case both for staying in the EU and for upending the status quo at home. That means Tory remainers somehow agreeing to let Corbyn get some of his policies on the statute books. And the beached whales of the remain campaign – the likes of Tony Blair – will need to be cleared away.

It will also mean Labour squarely making the case for the EU being better for working people than Brexit. Without the EU’s working time directive, they could say, British workers wouldn’t have the legal right to paid holidays. Indeed, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have reportedly plotted to repeal such rights as soon as Britain leaves. Equal pay for women, protection for agency workers: such basics have come from the EU, often despite resistance from the British government.

Some on the left will ask, but what about those EU state aid rules that get in the way of building a new economy? Yet research by two EU competition law experts found that of the 26 economic proposals in Labour’s 2017 manifesto, all but two would not require any state aid notification. And researchers concluded that Brussels would allow the other two to pass. Besides, under Labour’s current proposal for a customs union, the UK would still be subject to state-aid rules.

While I understand the sentiments of those who want a leftwing Brexit, many of their positions sound like flights of fantasy, by those who will never have to suffer the worst consequences. Against them, I’d weigh up the consequences that await low-paid migrant workers – and I know which side deserves the most support from the left.
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january 2019 by petej

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