While many in our free and fearless press pontificate on the approval of a third runway at London’s Heathrow airport - pandering to the capital’s well-heeled travellers and screwing the environment in one go - and frighten their readers with stories of rising crime numbers, not much attention has been given to Labour’s latest move on its EU stance, with some seasoned observers missing its significance.
As the BBC has reported, “Labour says it will try to force the government to seek a new deal with the EU on the single market when MPs vote on the Brexit bill next week. Jeremy Corbyn's team has tabled amendments demanding Theresa May seeks ‘full access’ to the single market. Anti-Brexit campaigners said his latest move did not go far enough”. Well, those anti-Brexit campaigners need to check out what Labour is proposing.
After Henry Zeffman of the Times told his followers “Labour about to announce major shift towards soft Brexit. Corbyn will table ‘internal market’ amendment to the withdrawal bill, customs bill and trade bill”, some still did not realise what The Red Team was doing.
But David Allen Green certainly did, and the key phrase was “internal market”: “‘Single market’ is not mentioned in EU treaties. The term used in the treaties is ‘internal market’. So this is four freedoms plus common regulatory policies, plus state aid, competition law, etc”. Therefore the softest of Brexit, if Brexit were even to occur. There was more.
“By using the actual legally correct term ‘internal market’ - defined in the treaties - Labour are (deliberately or not) making what they are content to accept clear”. Also note that the amendment names Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner, and chief whip Nick Brown. This is not an accident, and it has Labour’s front bench behind it.
Green showed why the phrase “internal market” is so significant: “This is Article 26 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This defines ‘internal market’ as requiring the four freedoms (including movement). Significant that Labour now using the very same phrase for its amendment”. So he had one clear conclusion.
“In essence - by using the legally correct and exact term ‘internal market’ rather than the (political, vague) term ‘single market’, Labour's amendment will align UK with careful firmness to the provisions of EU treaties and EU law generally. If not an accident, rather clever”. And Lewis Goodall of Sky News had one last interesting thought.
“Corbyn/Starmer have moved to the Wilson/Cameron position: We can get what we have at the moment but at a lower cost. That worked for Wilson though ultimately not for Cameron. But even for him it worked for a while, up to and including an election. That's all Labour needs for now”. I wouldn’t go with the Cameron comparison, if only because Young Dave was not calculating enough to stand alongside Wilson.
But Harold Wilson - thought of before he became leader as a dangerous lefty, but a great chairman of his cabinet and arch-pragmatist - is the past Labour leader Corbyn most closely resembles. Wilson calculated every step of his approach to Europe; Corbyn is now doing exactly the same thing. And his party has now effectively abandoned Brexit.
The one step at a time approach is the right one. The EEA vote is uncertain, even with Labour shipping.
Better to let negotiations proceed on the actual relationship between the EU and UK, not the name attached.
On the name "single market" I have been pointing out since 2016 that there is no such entity. No body, no staff no budget, no websites do no constitution.
All there is, is the EU itself.
All the Official EU websites use the name "internal market". Except the English language one uses "single market"
Seen this by a friend of yours?
How Brexiteers lost control of Brexit
I notice that Labour's announcement seems to have caused feverish activity over at the Graun.
Wouldn't it be nice for all politicians for once, just ONCE, to abandon weasel words and get on with it. However misled, the electorate has voted for a Brexit which will send us down the shitter faster than you can say "Fat Boris". Whipped-up xenophobia won the referendum, so let its Little Englander perpetrators now face the consequences. The only "winners" will be the looters of what's left of national assets - which isn't much, thanks to the tories, New Labour and LibDems. Everyone else will rue the day Cameron was stupid enough to instigate the farce.
If you think it's as bad as it gets in a country turned into a far right racist shit hole administered by spivs, charlatans and liars......Just wait until the full affects of Brexit hit home. But don't worry - there'll be another Ruritanian Banana Monarchy wedding along any minute to keep the peons happy.
Britain 2018: Divided lalaland of soap operas and delusion. It's what you voted for. In truth, if people won't get off their arses, organise and fight back......it's all we deserve. History won't give a shit either way.
Sorry, Labour hasn't abandoned brexit. They have insisted on the most softest brexit possible.
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