On Brexit and the Left.
The Guardian reports,
The government does not have “a blank cheque” to push through its vision of Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has said, despite the overwhelming Commons vote to pass the article 50 bill without a single amendment.
The Labour leader insisted there was little his party could have done about the bill, given its limited scope, but said he would continue to push for concessions and changes as the Brexit process continued.
“There was a referendum,” he told BBC1’s Breakfast programme. “There was a decision by the people of this country and we support the result of the referendum, and have to carry it out.
“It doesn’t mean we agree with the government on the economy for the future. It does mean we have to build good relations with everybody across Europe.
Then there is this,
Clive Lewis, the leftwing shadow business secretary, has resigned from the shadow cabinet to vote against article 50 at third reading. He was the fourth shadow cabinet minister to resign on this issue. His move will intensify speculation that he sees himself as a candidate in a future Labour leadership election, particularly because Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to order his MPs to back the bill has angered many of the party’s activists.
Brexit is a huge blow to progressive causes in the UK. Having been touted as a referendum on leaving the EU, the politics of UKIP and sections of the media turned it into a referendum on migration. The result was a resounding vote against migration and against further integration with Europe on a political, social and economic level.
Brexit has not just lead to “carnival of reaction” but is a defeat for the collectivist project of creating a social Europe, a transformed European Union.
Given that there was “little” that could have been “done about the Bill” many will sympathise with Clive Lewis: there is no reason to stand with the forces of the right and vote the Tories’ bill in.
Others will point to Donald Trump’s praise for Brexit, a “smart” move that could lead to the -welcome – “unravelling of the EU”..
Morning Star supporter Nick Wright asserts (Trump and Brexit) that,
Like Brexit, Trump’s victory represents the breakdown of the established order. Like Brexit it was a defeat for the main centres of capitalist power.
This is far from the truth.
Capitalist power is being configured, and the last thing these ‘victories’ indicate is a “defeat” for finance and business.
Trade Deals with the USA will be based on terms set down by Washington, opening up the UK to their products, their lower environmental standards, and public markets to their companies, already interested in the NHS.
The Tories, high from their success at the Parliamentary vote, will be free to weaken all EU social and environmental legislation.
If there was “little” that can be done in Parliament to stop the Brexit Bill, as Corbyn says, there will be little effectively done to halt these measures.
This is just bravura and wishful thinking:
“Good relations” and other warm words will not stop the building of barriers with Continental Europe.
The “kick up the backside” welcomed by Tariq Ali, has turned into a kick start to the anti-EU populist far-right, from Marine Le Pen’s Front National, the Alternative für Deutschland, to Geert Wilders’ Partij voor de Vrijheid.
In these conditions the last thing many will want to hear is the advice of the Brexit left, the supporters of a “People’s Brexit” who have fueled the rightward turn.
Many will find that attempts to avoid the issues this raises, and channel popular hostility against Trump into a new ‘movement’ Stand up to Trump that everybody on the left can support, ring hollow.
We have our own reactionaries to deal with: the Brexit supporters.
There is no People’s Brexit, outside of their rhetoric.
There is one Brexit: the Carnival of Reaction.
The real issue is to build a truly internationalist left that breaks with the Brexiters of all stripes.