In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Remain: an open door for Corbyn

Posted by seumasach on July 25, 2016

Cailean Bochanan

25th July, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn is on safe ground in making a U-turn over Brexit. He had originally insisted that Article 50 should be triggered immediately but now seems to have backed down on this and is talking about the possibility of a second referendum after negotiations have been completed. Of course, there will be no negotiations until Article 50 is triggered but let’s not get bogged down in technicalities.

Presumably, Corbyn is beginning to realize what everyone else is beginning to realize: Article 50 is a loaded revolver pressed to the temple of any UK prime minister. Is there any surprise that it won’t be triggered? The “Leave” camp fell into despair and disarray on the morning after their referendum victory after Cameron backed down on his assurances that he would trigger Article 50. They have never recovered and never will. That is why Johnson at that funereal press conference on that same day began talking as if nothing had changed, a claim he subsequently reinforced in a bizarre article in the Telegraph in which he put forward the preposterous notion that it was status quo ante apart from the fact that we would have no more truck with EU law. This Brexit denier is now our foreign secretary.

The way is now open for the Labour Party, in alliance, perhaps, with the LibDems, the SNP. the Greens and the Progressive Unionists to campaign on the basis of Remain. A new referendum would be promised subsequent to a general election victory.

“Brexit in haste, repent at leisure”

There remains, though, the problem that much of the Labour Party support base voted for Brexit. They did so because Project Fear didn’t really frighten them enough. They were told that Brexit would cause a recession. Given that Britain has been in a deep economic slump..sorry, recovery- for at least five years, the prospect of a mere recession seemed almost a relief. All the signs indicate that “Leave” voters thought that things couldn’t get worse and that they, therefore, had nothing to lose by voting to leave. The Remainers failed to explain the economic disaster that Brexit would inflict on them given that continued capital inflows on which we are totally dependent would start to tail off drastically. Brexit voters are about to be disabused of their illusions by the economic death vortex into which we are already being cast.

Another consequence of Brexit is that the Blairites lost their role as Washington’s fifth column in Europe. This was already foreshadowed by the failure of TTIP, not yet officially admitted. The Americans simply had no further need for them, inducing the  nervous breakdown which has destabilized the Labour Party. Once Corbyn has seen off this disturbance he faces an open door into 10 Downing Street.

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