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Labour’s Brexit Policy |
To sum up – I started with three simple rival ‘narratives’ of Labour’s underlying position on Brexit. I’ve articulated my own interpretation of Labour’s position, which implies that all of these narratives have something to them. In my view, Labour’s preferred Brexit outcome involves significant breaks with existing EU governance rules. The leadership wants those breaks to be in the area of neoliberal constraints on socialist policy-making; much of the PLP wants those breaks to be in the area of freedom of movement. In a scenario where Labour is in government without the Brexit deal having been concluded, those two categories of negotiating priority will be in tension. Nevertheless, the tension between those two categories of negotiating priority is (I would argue) not as fundamental as the tension between some of the Conservatives’ commitments. Moreover, unlike the Conservatives, Labour have been quite careful not to articulate any commitments that cannot be backed down from towards greater compatibility with existing EU rules. Thus in a scenario in which Labour were negotiating with the EU, I would expect Labour to make an effort to achieve a set of concessions around EU rules, and if those concessions could not be achieved, to capitulate in the direction of a more liberal existing-EU-institutions-aligned position.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  Remain  Leave  trade  economy  Bennism  Euroscepticism  immigration  borders  freedomOfMovement  customsUnion  singleMarket  ambiguity  tactics  flexibility  ToryParty  redLines  negotiations  strategy 
8 days ago by petej
Why Labour is dangerously foolish to turn against freedom of movement
There are certainly reasons to criticise the institution of EU free movement. For one, it is only a partial freedom, restricted by class, ethnicity, and geography. For another, it is an extremely exclusive one, leaving thousands of migrants to perish on the Mediterranean each year.

But it is dangerously foolish to believe that the Labour Party can destroy EU free movement in order to build something better in its place. As we are about to discover, the costs of ending free movement — to the millions of EU citizens that have made homes, families, and lives in Britain — are painfully high. Allowing this to pass will be a permanent stain on the Labour Party’s record.

Instead, EU free movement should be a springboard to a more global system of open migration. Labour should be leading the way to defend EU free movement and extend it beyond Europe’s borders, shattering the fortress that Brussels has constructed around the continent.
UK  EU  freedomOfMovement  immigration  CorbynJeremy  migration  wages  pay  culture  nostalgia  sovereignty  nation-state  politics  LabourParty 
6 weeks ago by petej
I work at a Wetherspoons in grim conditions – and Tim Martin’s clueless Brexit bleating is driving me mad | The Independent
It is nothing short of perverse that it’s the organisation’s bar associates – the lowest-paid and most migrant-heavy layer of the workforce – who are responsible for distributing Martin’s politics in pubs up and down the country. Through content in the magazine, on leaflets and even on beer mats, we are essentially instructed to propagandise for a policy that promises to make our livelihoods more precarious.

Brexit has always been driven by the central xenophobic lie that blames the decline of living standards on foreign workers. Yet when you contrast the extreme wealth of Wetherspoon’s shareholders with what I see as poverty wages granted to all its employees, it’s all too clear in my mind that it’s not migrants who drive down wages, it’s exploitative bosses.
UK  Brexit  Wetherspoons  MartinTim  pay  wages  conditions  propaganda  Leave  migrants  rights  freedomOfMovement  exploitation 
8 weeks ago 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 
9 weeks ago by petej
Labour’s refusal to oppose Brexit is becoming a historic error
The attitude of Corbyn loyalists is that Remainers have nowhere else to go besides Labour. If Labour enable Brexit, this will have no noticeable impact on how Remainers vote in any general election. They dismiss a poll that suggests Labour could lose a large number of votes by attacking the poll: it was funded by the People’s Vote campaign, and “who believes polls?” A more thoughtful criticism is that you are bound to get a large number in any question who highlight Brexit, but general elections will be fought over many issues. In short, Remainers on the left will always vote Labour.

I would agree that one poll tells you little about any future general election, but what it does reveal is the intensity of feeling over the Brexit issue. I think many among the Labour leadership and Corbyn loyalists fail to understand this. They prefer instead to misplace Remainers as the centrist enemy, and see attacks on Corbyn over Brexit as just one more means by which the centre and right of Labour attack Labour. This is a serious mistake.
UK  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  generalElection  Leave  Remain  PeoplesVote  referendum  identity  migrants  freedomOfMovement  dctagged  dc:creator=Wren-LewisSimon 
11 weeks ago by petej
At the risk of being attacked from all sides, a few short words on Brexit and the Labour Party. One thing I can see is that, in general, *both* sides of the argument have their hearts in the right place. Both want something positive in left wing terms. 1/
At the risk of being attacked from all sides, a few short words on Brexit and the Labour Party. One thing I can see is that, in general, *both* sides of the argument have their hearts in the right place. Both want something positive in left wing terms. 1/
UK  EU  Brexit  Leave  Remain  TheLeft  LabourParty  austerity  immigration  freedomOfMovement  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BernalPaul 
12 weeks ago by petej
Ivan Rogers’ Brexit bombshell, digested | Martha Gill | Opinion | The Guardian
There is a contradiction at the heart of the argument made by many of those advocating no deal. They say both that WTO terms are good enough for the UK to trade on, and that Britain’s prosperity depends on it striking multiple trade deals abroad.

Rogers puts it like this: “You cannot simultaneously argue that it is perfectly fine to leave a deep free trade agreement with easily our largest export and import market for the next generation, and trade on WTO terms because that is how we and others trade with everyone else – and argue that it is imperative we get out of the EU in order that we can strike preferential trade deals with large parts of the rest of the world, because the existing terms on which we trade with the rest of the world are intolerable.”
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  politics  delusion  sovereignty  agency  power  Article50  transition  EU27  withdrawalAgreement  singleMarket  LancasterHouse  freedomOfMovement  WTO  noDeal  trade  freeTradeAgreement  services  transparency  secrecy  dishonesty  RogersIvan  speech  Liverpool 
december 2018 by petej
Labour should prepare to fight neoliberalism within the EU – Lexit is not an option
But the British left has to stop dreaming about Lexit. One of the things we have genuinely learned from the process of trying to leave the EU is the extensive nature of its status as a regulatory superpower. Even a Britain ruled by the Socialist Workers Party and the Morning Star would find itself forced to comply with Commission directives. Paradoxically, a left exit from Europe is only possible if Europe itself goes left.

For two and a half years Labour has dutifully and painfully tried to make Brexit work. But parliament has been sidelined, time has run out, and the space for a Labour-designed version of Brexit has disappeared. If anybody has betrayed Brexit it is Theresa May. Once her deal is thrown out, the moral authority of the 2016 referendum evaporates. It’s then either no deal or no Brexit.

And if it’s no Brexit, watch the blood drain from the faces of European neoliberalism: I’ve been with Jeremy Corbyn as he’s hit both Brussels and the Hague with messages of uncompromising clarity: neoliberalism is over, austerity is a catastrophe. But to the stunned audience of centrist social democrats, Corbyn’s words always seemed like a message from afar. If we play this right, we can take it into the heart of Europe.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  LabourParty  Remain  reform  Maastricht  Germany  Italy  budget  Portugal  Greece  Spain  EC  neoliberalism  JunckerJean-Claude  freedomOfMovement  migration  exploitation  TheLeft  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
december 2018 by petej
Brexit will hurt low-paid workers. Freedom of movement is not the problem | Jason Moyer-Lee | Opinion | The Guardian
If the question is how to deal with labour exploitation, the answer lies in improved and enforced employment rights, and a unionisation strategy based on uniting workers, vigorous campaigning and effective collective bargaining. If you don’t believe me, just ask Alex.
UK  work  labour  exploitation  employment  jobs  pay  wages  conditions  precarity  rights  IWGB  freedomOfMovement  tradeUnions  MayTheresa  ToryParty 
december 2018 by petej
Take it from a Norwegian MP: we don’t want Britain in the EEA | Heidi Nordby Lunde | Opinion | The Guardian
More importantly to me, I do not believe it is in Norway’s interest to invite the UK into the Efta bloc. It would certainly upset the balance within Efta – and thus our relationship with the EU. Further, the EEA agreement presupposes a consensus between the countries to harmonise with the same EU laws and regulations the UK wants to veto. These are the laws and regulations we rely on to have frictionless access to our most important market. A veto from one country affects the other countries: letting the UK join Efta and the EEC agreement to veto parts of it could undermine the agreement for all of us.
UK  EU  Brexit  Norway  EEA  EFTA  singleMarket  regulation  freedomOfMovement  migration  NorwayPlus  politics 
december 2018 by petej
I don’t think Labour can get a sunny uplands Brexit deal (there isn’t one). But there are reasons to suppose it might get a better/less damaging deal than May. Let’s not pretend there aren’t just cos we don’t like Brexit (and to be clear: I hate
I don’t think Labour can get a sunny uplands Brexit deal (there isn’t one). But there are reasons to suppose it might get a better/less damaging deal than May. Let’s not pretend there aren’t just cos we don’t like Brexit (and to be clear: I hate it)
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  freedomOfMovement  immigration  dctagged  dc:creator=ShabiRachel 
december 2018 by petej
Theresa May rules out Norway-style Brexit compromise with Labour | Politics | The Guardian
However, on Thursday May repeated her rejection of the “Norway plus” model and suggested she would not be prepared to offer it as a compromise arrangement because it would mean the continuation of freedom of movement. That is regarded in Downing Street as the hardest of the prime minister’s red lines.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  MayTheresa  politics  LabourParty  BolesNick  KinnockStephen  NorwayPlus  singleMarket  EEA  freedomOfMovement  StarmerKeir  noDeal  redLines  intransigence 
november 2018 by petej
Yanis Varoufakis’s European Dreams
To me what is now essential is for Britain — and this is possibly something Jeremy and I don’t agree on — to maintain freedom of movement. The Left should always fight to keep borders away and not to create new borders among people. So, for me a “Norway plus” solution would be ideal for Britain and even if that doesn’t happen, our New Deal for Europe, proposed by DieM 25, details how even after a hard Brexit [the UK breaking from all EU-related structures] British institutions and European institutions could coordinate in such a way as to simulate a European Union in which Britain is an integral and progressive part.
Europe  EU  politics  economics  Eurozone  EC  Italy  Greece  DiEM25  budget  finance  austerity  EIB  ECB  Syriza  MelechonJean-Luc  LePenMarine  SalviniMatteo  farRight  Brexit  Lexit  PeoplesVote  referendum  NorwayPlus  freedomOfMovement  dctagged  dc:contributor=VaroufakisYanis  interview  Jacobin 
november 2018 by petej
New study shows Brexit is drenched in fake news
The truth is that the public are grotesquely misinformed about European immigration. And that's not compared to data by a pro-immigration body but to a report which goes out of its way to justify a draconian policy.

No-one really wants to talk about this. It is unfashionable to suggest that the public can be wrong about things.

Instead of grappling with this reality, the response of the political class - including journalists and think tankers as well as politicians - is to act like the falsehoods are real. The public cannot be wrong so the whole earth must shift on its axis to behave as if they're right. And that is how we have found ourselves here, threatening to detonate our trade and diplomatic status to reduce European immigration, even though the political class knows that it doesn't actually do us any harm. It is a truly insane situation to be in. Future history students will be baffled and aghast at the mass mania we have fallen into.

There is another way, of course. It is to ask how print, broadcast and online media failed so spectacularly that the public could have ever become so ill-informed. It is to think up new ways of challenging populist rhetoric, by combining evidence and reason with passion and narrative-storytelling instead of treating them as mutually exclusive. It is by addressing the root material causes of people's discontent.
UK  Brexit  immigration  statistics  freedomOfMovement  pay  wages  unemployment  MAC  misinformation  dctagged  dc:creator=DuntIan 
october 2018 by petej
Lord Dubs to launch Compassion in Politics cross-party campaign | Politics | The Guardian
“In different ways, British citizens too are victims of an insidious political narrative that blames and punishes the vulnerable, the disabled and the poor, victimises minorities and deliberately divides communities.”

“The experiences of my childhood mean I can never claim to be from one place or another. But I think I have benefited greatly through my life by meeting others like me who feel they belong nowhere – or everywhere,” he said.
DubsAlfred  UK  politics  compassion  refugees  climateChange  freedomOfMovement  hostility  suspicion  blame 
october 2018 by petej
The part of Brexit everyone’s been avoiding is finally here: immigration | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit was never really about immigration.

Or so liberal leavers fall over themselves to claim, at least. They can’t bear the idea of being associated with a racist backlash and so they insist it was really all about sovereignty; that all those inflammatory posters of dark-skinned migrants queuing at European borders and the cynical scaremongering about Turkey didn’t really have any bearing on the result, and that all they really wanted was just a fairer and more open system in which people could come to Britain more easily from Commonwealth countries.

Even Nigel Farage sounded as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth on the radio this morning, insisting all he ever wanted was control of our borders and equal opportunities for Indians to come here just as Romanians once did.
UK  EU  Brexit  migration  freedomOfMovement  xenophobia  Leave  impact  pay  wages  employers  skills  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=HinsliffGaby 
september 2018 by petej
Hello Britain! @ukhomeoffice, @theresa_may, @AmberRuddHR. I want to talk with you for a second. I'm an immigrant. No, don't send your skinheads to kick down my door yet, hear me out. I'm actually English. A few months ago my family and I moved to Germany.
Hello Britain! @ukhomeoffice, @theresa_may, @AmberRuddHR. I want to talk with you for a second. I'm an immigrant. No, don't send your skinheads to kick down my door yet, hear me out. I'm actually English. A few months ago my family and I moved to Germany.
UK  Germany  EU  migration  freedomOfMovement  immigration 
august 2018 by petej
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