petej + softbrexit   89

I wish Labour’s soft Brexit punt had worked, and unified Leavers and Remainers so the left could focus on fixing our broken economy. But it hasn’t. Brexit is polarised between No Deal/Remain, and now the compromise position is a second referendum. Cor
I wish Labour’s soft Brexit punt had worked, and unified Leavers and Remainers so the left could focus on fixing our broken economy. But it hasn’t. Brexit is polarised between No Deal/Remain, and now the compromise position is a second referendum. Corbyn should campaign for one.
UK  EU  Brexit  LabourParty  softBrexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  politics  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=SarkarAsh 
7 weeks ago by petej
If Labour really wants to move on, it has to back a second referendum | Tom Kibasi | Opinion | The Guardian
How can a referendum be won? Remainers need to stop talking to themselves and instead think about how to persuade people who voted leave last time to vote remain next time. Rather than trying to sell the virtues of the European project or making the case for “remain and reform”, Labour should instead make and win the argument that Brexit simply isn’t worth it: that there are more pressing priorities, from wages to NHS waiting times. The country has already wasted three years arguing about trading arrangements and regulatory alignment rather than about jobs, living standards and public services
UK  EU  Brexit  softBrexit  customsUnion  EEA  Norway  referendum  PeoplesVote  Remain  NHS  livingStandards  campaigning  renewal  dctagged  dc:creator=KibasiTom 
11 weeks ago by petej
Labour’s bid for leave voters is failing. It must now look to remainers | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian
It points to a bleak prospect later this month, with the leave vote consolidating behind a triumphant Farage, while the remain vote splits at least four ways. But there is an obvious means to avert that scenario. If Labour made plain its commitment to submitting any Brexit deal to a confirmatory vote, it could staunch at least some of the haemorrhage of support to the remain parties.

This is the argument Labour thrashed out around the national executive table on Tuesday. I’m told that Diane Abbott, identifying herself as the MP for “remoan central”, told the group to “remember that our enemies are using this issue to drive a wedge between Jeremy and the membership”. Seeing this as a dastardly plot against the embattled but noble left is certainly one option, and it has a long tradition. But the other way of looking at it might be more productive: namely that, in its desperation to keep fishing in the Brexiter pool, Labour has turned its back on waters rich in anti-Tory voters who regard Brexit as a disaster that any opposition worth the name would be opposing. Labour could start fishing in those waters – or it could stand by, watching as its rivals steal that precious catch right from under its nose.
UK  politics  Brexit  LabourParty  localGovernment  elections  McDonnellJohn  CorbynJeremy  customsUnion  softBrexit  Remain  ParkerLaura  LewisClive  MasonPaul  HouseOfCommons  AbbottDiane  dctagged  dc:creator=FreedlandJonathan 
11 weeks ago by petej
How to win the Brexit Civil War. An open letter to my fellow Remainers | openDemocracy
Researchers, Chris Prosser, Jon Mellon, and Jane Green of The British Election Study Team asked a large cross sample what mattered to them in the referendum. The word-clouds map the answers. Remainers were overwhelmingly concerned with their economic future. Leavers said ‘immigration” but “were actually more likely to mention sovereignty related issues overall”. The conclusion? “The referendum campaign was not a fight about which side had the best argument on the issues… Instead, the fight was about which of these issues was more important.”
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  Remain  PeoplesVote  referendum  nationalism  isolationism  Leave  campaigning  softBrexit  customsUnion  polarisation  violence  discourse  immigration  economy  fear  precarity  democracy  change  dctagged  dc:creator=BarnettAnthony 
11 weeks ago by petej
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"
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  softBrexit  customsUnion  referendum  PeoplesVote  StarmerKeir  WatsonTom  LaveryIan  TrickettJon  AbbottDiane  ThornberryEmily  KylePeter  WilsonPhil  indicativeVote  LewisClive  MaskellRachel  Russell-MoyleLloyd  KinnockStephen  PowellLucy  DoughtyStephen  SnellGareth  FlintCaroline  MilneSeumas  UmunnaChuka 
april 2019 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  talks 
april 2019 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  talks 
april 2019 by petej
The EU knows it, so do our own MPs – Theresa May is finished | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
The bankruptcy of May’s overseas enterprise has been coming since the day she set up shop in No 10. The squandering of credibility started almost at once, with the appointment of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary in 2016. Only someone with a tin ear for European sensibilities would have given the top diplomat job to a man known on the continent as a rogue peddler of anti-Brussels propaganda.

Then there was the early negotiating period, during which EU leaders thought May’s robotic, inscrutable manner concealed a deep, strategic intelligence. They came to realise that there was no mask. The inanity – the reciting of “Brexit means Brexit” even in private meetings – was not the cover story for a secret plan. It was the plan.

The point of no return was the summit in Salzburg last September. May was invited to make the case for what was left of her “Chequers plan” to European heads of government. It was late. They were tired. There were other difficult matters to attend to. And instead of speaking candidly, persuasively, passionately or even just coherently, the British prime minister read mechanically from a text that was, in substance, no different from an op-ed article already published under her name in a German newspaper that morning. It was embarrassing and insulting. Many European diplomats say that was the moment when Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and others realised they were dealing with someone out of her depth, unable to perform at the level required for the job that needed doing.

A similar story is emerging from last night’s summit. May was asked about backup plans in the event that parliament rejects her deal a third time. She had nothing. She restated her determination that the deal should pass. This infuriating obtuseness is grimly familiar on this side of the Channel. Cabinet ministers recognise the experience of being desperate for some glimpse of the prime minister’s calculations. People who want to support her have needed some window into the workings of her political brain, maybe just a peek at her soul. They get nothing. It is hard to build trust with someone so closed and hard to stay loyal.

There was a Salzburg-style moment for pro-European Tories on Wednesday night, when the prime minister went on television to berate MPs for obstructing her deal. The spirit was demagogic, even if the style was typically charmless. Here was a besieged leader, emerging from her bunker, presenting herself as the champion of her people against a rotten parliament. This did not go down well with MPs of any stripe. But it was most counterproductive with moderate Conservatives who have voted for May’s deal twice already and both times seen her respond to defeat by borrowing ideas and rhetoric from the hardliners who have given her nothing but humiliation. She rewards enemies of compromise by becoming ever less compromising.
UK  EU  Brexit  EU27  Article50  extension  noDeal  softBrexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  MayTheresa  leadership  summit  intransigence  incompetence  failure  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael  EuropeanCouncil 
march 2019 by petej
Brexit: Why Labour should stick to its conference strategy
Brexit is now a class struggle — between a hard right nationalist project and, on the other side, an alliance of liberal centrists, with working class socialists, Greens and the left-nationalists in Scotland and Wales. The Leave 2.0 campaign will be, in Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase, an “alliance of the elite and the mob”. The Remain campaign should be an alliance of the working class and progressive middle class and any business leaders with the guts to join it — ie excaclty the kind of formation that the left used in the mid-1930s to fight the far right.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  softBrexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  StarmerKeir  Remain  reform  class  nationalism  middleClass  workingClass  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
january 2019 by petej
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.
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  withdrawalAgreement  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  constructiveAmbiguity  opposition  noDeal  ERG  NorwayPlus  BolesNick  MayTheresa  softBrexit  freedomOfMovement  PeoplesVote  farRight  RobinsonTommy  FarageNigel  Remain  Lexit  TheLeft  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
january 2019 by petej
short thread on a conversation many people having in parliament: 1. everything proceeds from presumption that there is no majority for May's deal. Also, there is no majority for no deal ...
short thread on a conversation many people having in parliament: 1. everything proceeds from presumption that there is no majority for May's deal. Also, there is no majority for no deal ...
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  Parliament  PeoplesVote  softBrexit  politics  MayTheresa  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
december 2018 by petej
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