Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit demands cause Labour split

Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit demands cause Labour split

On Thursday, Jeremy Corbyn laid out the conditions under which Labour would back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, prompting considerable backlash from within his own party.

On Thursday, Jeremy Corbyn laid out the conditions under which Labour would back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, prompting considerable backlash from within his own party.

A number of ardent Remainers viewed Corbyn’s letter as something akin to treason, with some prepared to leave the party rather than support the Labour leader’s attempt at delivering a Brexit deal. This could have particularly significant repercussions in Scotland.

In an effort to mitigate the potentially serious consequences of the hostile responses, Corbyn ensured to highlight the fact that Labour would still back a second referendum in the case of a deal being rejected. Nice one, Jeremy.

A “People’s Vote” was, of course, the direction pro-EU elements of Labour were hoping Corbyn would push towards.

Despite the backlash, the demands were met quite positively in places like – you guessed it – Brussels; particularly by the likes of Donald Tusk and several members of the European Parliament.

Notably, Corbyn’s compromise proposal was deemed “very interesting” by Leo Varadkar, as they would theoretically do away with the pressing border issues facing the Irish island.

The fact that Corbyn’s move was praised by Brussels is something rather unsurprising given what the proposal implies for the nature of the relationship between Britain and the European Union.

The scheme would keep Britain in the customs union while also following many of the single market rules – in other words, a soft Brexit plan. Here are the Labour leader’s five demands:

  • A permanent UK-wide customs union aimed at delivering frictionless trade
  • A close alignment with the single market that includes shares institutions and obligations
  • Alignment on rights and protections so that the UK’s standards can keep up with those evolving across Europe as a minimum
  • A clear commitment from the UK to participate with EU agencies and funding programmes, with a focus on the environment, education and industrial regulation
  • Unambiguous agreements on the details of future security arrangements, including access to the European Arrest Warrant and vital shared databases

Corbyn accused Therese May of an “utterly cynical” and “reckless” attempt to run down the clock before Br-exit day on the 29th March. Whether his plan can gain Parliament support, however, remains to be seen.

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