The Establishment media has been in overdrive to shore up Theresa May’s Brexit deal – even while an unavoidable scepticism has been present and the objections of its right-wing opponents have been presented, the overall tide has been toward a position of credibility for May’s deal that initial, more honest reactions showed was not warranted.
But the fact that a different, genuinely far more credible proposal exists has been largely ignored: Labour’s vision for Brexit.
Labour’s plan includes:
• a permanent customs union
• single market access
• freedom from state-aid rules
• replacing freedom of movement with a skills-based system
• workers’ rights not just protected but enhanced
The permanent customs unions removes the need for any backstops or tangible borders – resolving the difficult Northern Ireland issues and allowing frictionless trade. The UK would shadow EU regulations – and there would be no priority on a US trade deal – avoiding the damaging asset-stripping that hard-line right-wingers are hoping for.
Freedom from state-aid allows the renationalisation of key industries overwhelmingly supported by voters across the political spectrum to proceed unhindered.
Skills-based movement prevents the draining of vital skills from our NHS and other public services that has taken place under the Tories – while preventing unscrupulous employers exploiting cheap labour to drive down wages. Enhanced protections for workers would ensure that the UK does not sacrifice its social fabric for the sake of leaving the EU.
Labour’s plan holds all the advantages of May’s thin-gruel ‘deal’ and more, while avoiding its many pitfalls – and the latest polling by one of the most reliable polling companies shows that it would be hugely well-received.
It would also be welcomed by the EU for its clarity, simplicity and permanence – all achievable only by Labour, which doesn’t have to pander to the Tories’ extreme right.
Small wonder the Establishment doesn’t want the UK’s people to know it exists – preferring instead to continue the false claim that Labour has no cogent Brexit position.
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