Corbyn: Labour would deliver Brexit

Anyone still clinging on to the hope that the Labour Party would somehow get us out of this Brexit mess will be sorely disappointed by an interview with Jeremy Corbyn in today’s Guardian.

But asked if he could imagine a referendum emerging as a solution if it becomes clear that parliament is deadlocked – as the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, mooted this week – he said: “I think we should vote down this deal; we should then go back to the EU with a discussion about a customs union.”

As to what stance Labour would take if a referendum were held, Corbyn said, “it would be a matter for the party to decide what the policy would be; but my proposal at this moment is that we go forward, trying to get a customs union with the EU, in which we would be able to be proper trading partners.”

And he struck a distinctly Eurosceptic note by again highlighting Labour’s concerns about the state aid rules that form part of the architecture of the single market.

“I think the state aid rules do need to be looked at again, because quite clearly, if you want to regenerate an economy, as we would want to do in government, then I don’t want to be told by somebody else that we can’t use state aid in order to be able to develop industry in this country,” he said.

Neither is he willing to countenance the idea that Labour should support May’s deal, to avoid Britain crashing out with no deal in place at all – a move the prime minister has repeatedly said is in the “national interest”.

He’s clearly not looking at the clear trend now emerging that the people are unimpressed with the reality of Brexit and want to change their mind.

So if Corbyn wins an election, all he’ll do is go unicorn hunting in Brussels. He won’t stop Brexit.

And if he backs Brexit, he stands the risk of losing a great deal of support for the party – that poll last week suggested that the Lib Dems could overtake them.

So the message to Labour supporters who don’t want to leave the EU is simple. They’re not going to change. Join us.

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22 Comments

  • Key bit from the Guardian story:
    To those activists who support his leadership but ardently hope he will stop Brexit, Corbyn said: “We have to recognise a number of things. One is, as a party, about 60% of Labour voters voted remain; about 40% voted leave. We have to recognise why people voted in those directions.”

    The 60% can have no illusions left from that.

  • Jonathan Reeve 22nd Dec '18 - 12:22pm

    This is very grim news for the UK and conversely is the long awaited breakthrough opportunity for the LibDems (read the polls). There is a need for the Party to say unambiguously how it wants the EU to evolve with Britain and Ireland in it and showing leadership; this is the positive message voters have been denied so far.

  • Corbyn and Co believe all the blame will fall onto the Tories, which will make them unellectobale for a decade at least. During this time they will be able to build Socialism in one country unencumbered by outside interference. Totally delusional you can’t get off the world and build your own and as for blame anyone who can’t show clean hands is open to the charge of you a tagalong. I’m afraid Socialism in one country tends to lead to a counterblast of rabid nationalism. Dark days ahead I’m afraid, if only the box hadn’t been opened and we had tried to fix the problems that mattered most rather than followed the Pied Piper of Brexit.

  • Michael Cole 22nd Dec '18 - 12:54pm

    I agree with Jonathan Reeve. We need to state clearly how the “Party … wants the EU to evolve”. For some time I and others have advocated that some such public statement should be made by Vince Cable and/or Tom Brake, spelling out how the UK should campaign from within for much needed reform.

  • Peter Watson 22nd Dec '18 - 1:01pm

    I can understand why this article takes the line it does, but I think it is over-egging the pudding a bit.
    In the interview Corbyn says, “it would be a matter for the party to decide what the policy would be” and “We have to recognise a number of things. One is, as a party, about 60% of Labour voters voted remain; about 40% voted leave.”. He seems to be acknowledging that his preference might be different from the party’s and that it would be the latter that would prevail. That democratic approach sounds more like a Lib Dem principle than a traditional Labour one! He also talks about revisiting state aid rules which suggests a response to a scenario in which we remain in the EU. So I think Labour is still on the fence about Brexit with their priority being to replace the Tory government.

  • paul barker 22nd Dec '18 - 1:38pm

    Some people seem to have forgotten than Labour Conference already took a view on this, a carefully constructed compromise between the Remain majority & the Leaver Leadership. While technically Corbyn is still within the letter of the Conference decision he is openly flouting its spirit. No-one went away from Labour Conference thinking that it had voted to campaign for Brexit in either an Election or Referendum, no-one except Corbyn anyway.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Dec '18 - 2:35pm

    In the defence of taking a principled stand, we must realise there is much to be said for a pragmatic approach to things too.

    We have a chance to be cross party as well as have a specific stance. But that stance must engage,and respect, it must enhance , not repel.

    There is a great need for a measure at least , of a measured approach.

    And as some of us herein have said for years, for Remain but reform.

  • Peter, I admire your positivity. The article says Corbyn would deliver Brexit. When asked about Remainers in Labour, he ‘recognises’ that they outnumber Leavers by 60:40% – but yet their leader is still committed to delivering Brexit.
    Hard to see anything hopeful for Remainers in that. And we have surely gone way past the time when it was ok to sit on the Brexit fence.

  • Well I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. I havn’t been this shocked since I was informed that the Pope was Catholic and the toilet habits of bears in woods. Jeremey a Brexiteer, a shock indeed but only to those not paying attention or not wishing too.

  • It should come as no surprise to see people desperately trying to get Jeremy back onto his comfortable fence. “It wasn’t what he ment” they will say “He is playing the long game, give him time”; well he did mean it and time has run out.

  • Arnold Kiel 22nd Dec '18 - 4:10pm

    Not surprising but still disappointing. The problem of having a government aligned with the people (after a remain-vote) is also not new, but more complex now. I continue to believe that a Corbyn government would be unable to deliver Brexit, because Labour has no remotely qualified leavers to pull it off. Skinner, Fields, and Howey make the Tory-leavers look like the A-team.

    Corbyn will also have to learn, that, in order to remain in a customs union and practically in the single market, the UK will have to adhere to EU state-aid- and public procurement-rules, invalidating his leave-motivations. I just hope Starmer will eventually prevail.

  • William Fowler 22nd Dec '18 - 4:52pm

    Poll ratings suggest that Corbyn is not convincing anyone on Brexit but I would not rely on other shadow front-benchers to do much better, they all seem to be in fright of de-selection and seem to spend most of their time blitzing their minds with Marxist mantras, which leaves no room for actual thought. On the upside, voting down May’s deal has to be a good thing,..

    Something like Honda closing down their Swindon plant (the most likely one to go first of the Japanese groups) would have the politicians suddenly facing the nasty reality of Brexit.

  • Steve,
    The Guardian is a trust, hardly a corporate mouth piece. He choose to hold an interview with them. Now if they misreported him, where is his demand for a rebuttal, we are waiting and will wait forever for it. Many people will try to put Jeremy back on his wall, leave him off it, he’s happier being true to himself rather than pretending to be something he is not; just try to accept Jeremey wants to leave the EU, rather than believing he is something he isn’t.

  • Denis Loretto 23rd Dec '18 - 8:21am

    Analysis of Corbyn and talk of electoral advantage for the Lib Dems is all very well but there is the little matter of the clock ticking towards our ejection from the EU on March 29. The truth is that unless there is a major palace revolution in the Labour party the aim to which the Lib Dems are dedicated – the People’s Vote- could well be dead in the water. Do we need a Plan B ?

  • Steve Trevethan 22nd Dec ’18 – 6:43pm……………….Are we discussing what Mr Corbyn said or what “The Guardian” said he said?………….

    Like you, I read the headline and thought, “Sorry Mr. Corbyn but I disagree strongly with your stance”
    Then, again like you, I read the substance and thought, “Hang on that’s not quite what he said”.

    Iwonder how many on here shouting ‘Marxist Brexiteer’ actually read those words in inverted commas rather than those ‘translated into ‘media-speak’.

    As for …frankie 22nd Dec ’18 – 10:31pm…”The Guardian is a trust, hardly a corporate mouth piece.”….

    Wasn’t our ‘impartial’ BBC (in the case of Laura Kuenssberg) deemed guilty of manipulating a Corbyn interview by having his answer to one question ‘slotted’ onto a different question?

  • Expats,
    I didn’t know the BBC and the Guardian were the same thing, thanks for enlightening me. As to Laura I believe many people nickname her Tory Kuenessberg;a charge that the BBC is becoming more establishment is a charge I’d struggle to refute, just as you are struggling too refute we are being hard on Jeremy.

  • frankie 23rd Dec ’18 – 6:18pm………Expats, I didn’t know the BBC and the Guardian were the same thing, thanks for enlightening me………….

    Collectively it’s called the media. Like the Beeb, the Grauniad has a wide range of reporters/commentators.

    Headlines are like carnival’ ‘come-ons’; The ‘real live mermaid’ isn’t real…

  • @ Frankie. Laura Kuennssberg is an extremely tough, able and fair minded BBC reporter who could probably eat you for breakfast and not notice.

    Just occasionally it would be nice to get a mature post from you.

  • Peter Hirst 24th Dec '18 - 5:05pm

    At the risk of not being political, the real villain of this Brexit debacle is our non existent constitution. We need clear procedures of when to hold referenda, how they are conducted and how to implement the results including asking for a further one if the path ahead is too unclear. If a new constitution is an unintended consequence of DC holding the vote, perhaps history will treat him more kindly.

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