On 22 October, Jeremy Corbyn delivered a strong speech in parliament which nailed why Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal would be such a “disaster”.
Why we need to oppose Johnson’s disastrous deal
Corbyn first reiterated that Johnson’s deal would be “a disaster for our country”. Having looked at the details of the deal, he called it:
nothing less than a charter for deregulation and a race to the bottom
And he explained that it:
fails to protect our rights and our natural world, fails to protect jobs and the economy, fails to protect every region and nation in the United Kingdom.
Jeremy Corbyn absolutely on fire today 🔥🔥🔥
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— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) October 22, 2019
He also clarified that the deal:
would be good for the hedge fund managers and speculators but bad for the communities that we represent, our industries, and people’s jobs and living standards.
He then said it would pave the way “for Trump-style trade deals that will attack jobs, rights and protections, and open up our precious National Health Service and other public services for further privatisation”.
Privatisation in our NHS has doubled under the Tories.
Private companies billed taxpayers over £9 billion in 2018/19, up 120% since 2010.
It's not just that they 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 to privatise the NHS – it's that they 𝗮𝗿𝗲.
Labour will rebuild our country's greatest institution. https://t.co/W6KawQCRnf
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 21, 2019
And he challenged Johnson “to name a single trade union in this country that backs his deal”.
Lots of people doing helpful flow charts to navigate through the Parliamentary votes this week!
Listening to Boris Johnson just now, here’s mine for today 👇 pic.twitter.com/3DQL9qEMT8
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) October 22, 2019
The alternative to Johnson’s “sell out deal”
Writing in the Mirror, meanwhile, shadow chancellor John McDonnell echoed this assessment, saying:
Boris Johnson’s sell out deal would give a green light for his government to trigger a race to the bottom on rights and protections, putting food safety, workers’ rights and consumer standards at risk and hitting the poorest parts of our country hardest.
And he stressed that:
Labour will seize every opportunity through the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to safeguard workers’ rights, protect our economy and ensure the people are given the final say.
Setting out an alternative which would have the support of “businesses and manufacturers”, he argued that:
A new Customs Union between the UK and the EU, with a UK say, can command a majority in the House.
Labour would also seek to get “legally-binding commitments on workers’ rights and the environment” which Johnson has shunned. And McDonnell said any final compromise deal in parliament “should go back to the people” in a post-election referendum.
Labour is putting forward a sensible compromise to sort Brexit. Include a customs union to protect our economy and let the people have a final say. This is not a wrecking amendment but a genuine attempt to bring people together & secure a decent way forward we could all support.
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) October 21, 2019
Labour opposes Johnson’s sell-out deal and will seize every opportunity to safeguard workers’ rights, protect our economy and ensure the people are given the final say.https://t.co/2aNf1ZXkHq
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 22, 2019
The sensible, realistic choice
Democracy, at its best, is about being able to reach sensible compromises when big disagreements are blocking progress. It’s not about a minority steaming ahead with what it wants without even listening to the concerns of those who think differently. And today, around half of the British population don’t feel strongly about either Leave or Remain; so pushing forward with a hardline position seems like one of the least representative options going.
Corbyn’s team is the adult in the room here. It stands firmly in defence of ordinary people’s rights and wellbeing; and it promises to put forward a sensible, realistic choice to voters so they can make the final decision. That’s a position that no amount of bluster from Johnson can derail.
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