Shambolic Labour – Brexit Issues

Labour Party Conference

CorbynThe Guardian had this on Saturday: “Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn wins convincing victory over Owen Smith – Party leader increases mandate after beating challenger Owen Smith, leaving rebel MPs to decide whether to return to the frontline” as well as this: “Corbyn leadership win shows Labour is now a changed party – With Jeremy Corbyn increasing his mandate, members with more centrist politics may now leave the party”.

On Sunday, Tom Baldwin, formerly a Labour Director of Communications and Strategy  : “Labour is trapped in the past – as is Corbyn. Can the party learn how to win again?”

Today (Monday), the Guardian reports: “Jeremy Corbyn critics will not be silenced despite unity calls – Wes Streeting, Angela Eagle and Hilary Benn among those speaking out against leader just a day after his re-election

Entirely predictably, the Telegraph on Saturday had this: “This missed opportunity to crush Corbyn has condemned Labour to oblivion” and this: “Don’t be afraid of Jeremy Corbyn. Be afraid of what comes after him” and today on its live account of events it reports “Jeremy Corbyn sets path to ‘annihilation’ as Labour council group leader quits and tells MPs to form breakaway party” and there is also comment from former Home Secretary David Blunkett describing the re-election of Corbyn as an “utter disaster”.

On the Conservative Home site on Saturday there was this: “Corbyn’s re-election: Labour confirms itself as a fashion statement party – no longer fixed on winning”.

Many Conservative activists may be happy with the idea that that Labour is making itself unelectable.  But our parliamentary democracy is based on the concept of an opposition able to hold the government of the day to account and ready, if need be, to form an alternative government.  It remains to be seen just how the Labour Front Bench will be organised and how the Labour MP’s  who have no confidence in Corbyn’s leadership will behave.   Will there be a credible opposition ?

At least there is some indication of how Corbyn sees things.  The Independent had this: “Corbyn favours ‘Norway model’ post BrexitThe Labour leader indicated that access to the single market, similar to that which Norway currently has, is the relationship Britain should seek after it exits the European Union”.  But see this in the Guardian: “Jeremy Corbyn says UK should reject key aspects of single market after Brexit – Labour leader wants full access to EU markets for British firms but would seek to ditch certain directives and obligations”.

It looks as if the remainder of this Parliament will feature splits between the “Leave” and “Remain” camps in both the Conservative and the Labour party.

Brexit Issues – Banking and Financial Services 

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have been at the UN General Assembly but the opportunity was taken to explore some Brexit issues.  See this in the Financial Times: “Theresa May canvasses Wall Street over Brexit – PM talks to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock on New York visit” and see also this “Wall Street warns Theresa May of need for ‘long runway’ before Brexit – US banks tell May they would like several years to prepare for impact”.

But see this in the Telegraph: “Brexit warning: US bank bosses from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock threaten Theresa May with relocation”.

The fact is that all the non EU overseas banks in London will need to consider their operations post Brexit.  The Australian Business Insider has his “LEAVING LONDON: Confidential Deutsche Bank Brexit briefing shows where it thinks other banks will go.” The article ends with this comment:

The Deutsche paper is speculative and written shortly after the Brexit vote. No one knows for sure what the UK’s Brexit agreement is going to look like.  But the mere fact that a major investment bank is even discussing a post-London future suggests banks are prepared for London’s near-1,000 year history as a centre for international trade and finance to come to an end, if needs be.”

See also this article in the Guardian: “Lloyd’s considers opening EU subsidiary to be ready for Brexit – Insurance market working on ‘contingency plan’ so it can continue trading across Europe once article 50 is triggered” and this in the Financial Times: “City of London fears May government is shifting towards ‘hard’ Brexit – Alarm political momentum will trigger damage to financial hub“.

Brexit Mythology

The Washington Post published this some time ago:  “The myths that Brexit was built on on“.   There have, of course, been many instances of such myths being peddled to create the misconception in the mind of the electorate that the United Kingdom would be better off by leaving the European Union.  See also this in the Financial Times: “Metropolitan myths that led to Brexit“.

One person who ought to now how mythology works on our minds is Paul Goodman, a Roman Catholic who tested his vocation as a novice at a Benedictine Abbey on the Isle of Wight before opting for journalism,  principally at the Telegraph.  He was the Conservative MP for Wycombe 2001-2010 and he is now the Executive Editor of the Conservative Home website.  In language strangely akin to hagiography, Mr Goodman has posted this article in praise of Brexit: “A day to stand back from the fray, and marvel at the stupendous fact of Brexit“.

It was, however, pleasing to see this response to the Goodman panegyric from someone more connected with reality:

You must be joking! Neither I nor any one I know has lost sight of the implications of Brexit whether it [is]  the extra 10% I have to pay on every thing not priced in £s, The uncertainty about EU grants and finance faced by Universities and other institutions, will friends and colleagues be allowed to say in the UK? Will other relatives be allowed to work and study abroad?  My children, and most young people I know have given up on this country as it turns in on itself, and are seeking EU or US citizenship. Then, if we do finally leave there is the probability of long term loss of growth. All in all I would prefer not to stand back and think about it. Thank God I’m nearing retirement and don’t have to face the prospect forging a career in a small isolated country whose delusions of grandeur have led it to cut itself off from its neighbours.


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