Labour is making the right call on Brexit.

Word within the Westminster bubble is Keir Starmer is planning to vote for a Brexit deal if one is brought before the Commons for a vote by the govt, and the PLP intends to unite behind him.

The reasoning is clear, and this is the right decision. In principle some form of deal is going to be superior to WTO, therefore voting for a deal, however flimsy it is, is the better option and will cause less disruption to people. Johnson’s form of Brexit is spearheaded by radical free marketeers intent on slashing standards, and is nowhere near a “worker’s Brexit” but a rotten deal is better than nothing.

Some within Labour worry voting for such a deal would provide fodder to tie Labour to whatever calamity this form of exit could bring, or any damage it could inflict. I say to this, that Labour amendments can be tabled to improve it (which won’t pass but show something was done) and that anything other than voting with it not only looks irresponsible, but reopens the Brexit divide Labour is running squarely away from.

Johnson is certainly on course to deliver us a Dog’s Brexit, and something that’s in no means progressive. However, Labour do not want to position themselves as the handmaidens of WTO, and the govt will almost certainly take all credit here, and all flack as a result, so if this goes tits up it won’t come back on Labour. Johnson is unlikely to position Brexit at this stage as a bipartisan mission; it’s his signature achievement in a bizarre sense.

A final note, as I’ve said before, this positioning shows once and for all that the People’s Vote Hard Remain agitators that guaranteed the hardest of hard Brexit by fighting a democratic referendum for 3 years, were clearly acting in bad faith to bring down Corbyn’s leadership. Now someone else is at the wheel they’re all fine and dandy with leaving the EU on the hardest terms imaginable.

We are leaving the EU, with no plan, no direction, no vision, and people at the helm with no serious intention of developing nay of that and a deep commitment to destroying worker’s rights and standards. This is no Lexit; such a vision would only have been plausible under a radical Corbynite government, the prospect of which was destroyed by the neoliberal People’s Vote campaign.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

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Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.