The Conservatives and sections of the corporate media are trying to blame Labour for the collapse of the Brexit talks. But it’s clear as day why they just collapsed.
They want you to forget the obvious facts
At best, the corporate media is reporting that Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are blaming each other. At worst they are repeating May’s narrative of blaming Corbyn. For example, Sky News led with the headline:
Theresa May blames Labour split over second referendum as Brexit talks collapse
In reality, Labour has been open to an array of compromises to break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit. The Jeremy Corbyn-led party proved this during the second round of indicative votes. Labour backed both soft Brexit motions and the one calling for a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal. One Labour-backed proposal for a new customs union with the EU lost by just three votes.
By contrast, May’s own cabinet remains split on this fundamental issue. Without a customs union and some single market alignment, the Brexit deal will break the Good Friday Agreement because it will require a hard-border between Ireland and the north of Ireland. In short, the Conservative Party split on the Irish border is still the main driving force behind the deadlock. And that doesn’t look set to change.
“Senior cabinet ministers…”
In his letter announcing the end of the Brexit talks, Corbyn highlighted the issue:
In recent days we have heard senior Cabinet ministers reject any form of customs union, regardless of proposals made by government negotiators
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Cabinet ministers rejecting the basis for any compromise include foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom. Meanwhile, international trade secretary Liam Fox is still calling for deregulation of food safety standards, as Corbyn also noted:
And despite assurances we have been given on protection of environmental, food and animal welfare standards, the International Trade Secretary has confirmed that importing chlorinated chicken as part of a US trade deal remains on the table.
Labour has proved itself willing to compromise to break the Brexit deadlock. In contrast, May’s administration remains split on a customs union – the most basic of requirements for any compromise. It’s clear this is why the talks are dead.
Featured image via EL4JC/ Twitter
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