A guest post by Samuel Miller
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before (No, don’t!). Seems Labour doesn’t have its troubles to seek Brexitwise these days. It appears Mr Corbyn is making yet another attempt to square one of the biggest circles on his busy to do list by proposing an amendment to next week’s withdrawal bill votes. An amendment which is meant to pressure the government into ensuring access to the single market, but without yer actual full membership of any of its official bodies. (No swerry wurds people!)
“It shall be a negotiating objective of Her Majesty’s Government to ensure the United Kingdom has full access to the internal market of the European Union, underpinned by shared institutions and regulations, with no new impediments to trade and common rights, standards and protections as a minimum,”
Just one teeny speed bump to consider however…
“These consequences are the direct result of the choice made by the UK, not by the EU. There is no punishment for Brexit and of course no spirit of revenge. But Brexit has a cost, also for business in the EU27, and businesses should assess with lucidity the negative consequences of the UK choice on trade and investment and prepare to manage that.”
Of course, if Mr Corbyn doesn’t want to accept the fairly unambiguous statements made by Michel Barnier? Then perhaps this observation by Martin Donnelly, former Permanent Secretary for the Department of International Trade may be of use?
“The single market is a coherent tapestry of economic and social regulation. Pulling out one strand is very hard to do without changing the whole picture. And so far the EU has been consistent in its commitment to keep the single market as it is, with a single set of rules for all.”
Setting aside ALL of that parliamentary amending, voting, abstaining and party political strategies waffle for a moment. Three things kinda stand out for even the mildly politically engaged person. 1. The jist of the amendment would tend to suggest that Brexit would appear to still be going ahead. 2. The EU have made it pretty clear that there will be no access to the single market from those outwith its regulatory bodies. 3. Given those fairly clear statements above, just how would a government of any stripe achieve this seemingly impossible ideal agreement?
As of this moment, neither Labour nor the current Conservative government are exactly forthcoming on the ‘how to’ part tbf. Maybe it’s a kung fu thing? Like walking on rice paper without leaving a dent. The art of being in without being in.
This amendment is supposedly an olive branch and a step towards compromise with remain elements within the ranks of Mr Corbyn’s PLP and membership. Personally, I’m not entirely sure Mr Corbyn understands either the nature of what is clearly a binary choice for many, or the resolve of the EU to maintain its charter.
Arguably, over the period since the referendum, merely the effects of the vote for Brexit have impacted on near every aspect of life on these islands. You have to wonder if the political class, in their dash to strategy, even notice what’s happening outside of their chambers. Do they actually care about the damage that’s been done so far? The agreements they’ve endangered, both nationally and internationally? The pledges and settlements within their own competence they’ve ignored? The economic fallout? (which WILL visit every business and every home)
Remember. Merely the effects of the vote for Brexit. NOT Brexit itself. Not yet.
There does appear to be quite the consensus from evidence gathered so far, whether it be governmental impact reports or commentary from the business press, that Brexit has the potential to cause immense, near catastrophic, damage to the UK’s economy. Kinda leaves a person wondering, why persist without consulting the population on what is clearly a material change in both information and circumstance? But then, Westminster government does have a habit of ignoring such things. If they don’t suit (cough).
The clock is ticking down to the June summit, by which time both a transition period deal and future trade pact discussions are supposedly meant to be on the cards. Tick, as they say, tock. No pressure guys. (Taps watch) Readers can draw their own conclusions as to whether UK gov are anywhere near ready for that summit.
So far as Scotland’s electorate is concerned? Soon as the deal (whatever it is) becomes clear? Well. It’s very likely that it’ll be your turn to have a say and make a choice.
(A rough guide of key Brexit dates can be found HERE.)