Joe Watts Profile picture
Sep 26, 2018 20 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
CORBYN SPEECH: Labour leader offers Brexit truce with May if her final deal is 'sensible' #PeoplesVote #FinalSay…
A couple of thoughts about this Brexit offer that Jeremy Corbyn has made to Theresa May...(thread)....
Until now Labour’s position has been that it would only vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal if it met Keir Starmer’s “six tests”...
However, the way the tests were set up makes them almost impossible for May to meet - one said her deal would have to deliver “exact same benefits” as single market...which you can’t do unless you’re in it (hence Labour’s Barry Gardiner called the tests “bollocks”)... everyone had assumed Labour would eventually vote against May’s deal, and earlier this week Keir Starmer in his speech appeared to confirm that, for the avoidance of doubt - Labour spinners also briefed that this is what he meant...
BUT NOW, Corbyn has said to the PM, through his speech, that he will have Labour vote for a Brexit deal she brings back if it is “sensible” his speech he didn’t mention the “six tests” what has happened?...
The two positions as set out by Starmer and Corbyn are the same in so far as they both say Labour could back May’s deal if it meets a particular threshold (six tests for Starmer, sensible for Corbyn)...but...
The two positions then differ on the clarity of that threshold (Corbyn’s is much more vague) and the likelihood it will be met (Starmer says probably not, Corbyn says maybe)...
The reason why Corbyn has chosen to use more vague language than Starmer’s, and indicated that Labour’s backing of May’s deal is more likely that Starmer suggested, can be found in the context of the political challenges Labour faces - the internal ones, and the external ones...
Starmer spent the week negotiating a finely balanced Brexit position - commuting to a new referendum, if May’s deal falls, and there is no general election - but markedly leaving open what that referendum would ask....everyone seemed happy but then...
John McDonnell went out and tried to define what that referendum would ask (there would be no remain option he said) - that was a misrepresentation of the policy Starmer had agreed... a result McDonnell was pushed to back down and Starmer had to set the record straight, which he did in his speech declaring “nobody is ruling out remain”, that speech also set out what everyone thought they knew - May’s deal was v unlikely to meet Starmer’s tests..but...
That left the whole Labour position feeling more remainy than they intended it to be, risking Labour leaver anger and accusations that the party is trying to wreck Brexit, which Corbyn and Len McCluskey believe won’t go down well in Labour Brexit
...firstly Corbyn’s speech - while staying in the parameters of a test needing to be met - is a message to Labour leavers that the party is not trying to wreck Brexit....
...the party wants to come out of conference saying ‘look, we’ve got these tests that need to be met, and they’re tough because we care about it, but we’re reasonable, if you’re deal is good we’ll back it because that’ll keep a lot of our voters happy’...
...Corbyn’s speech also gives the party a shield of sorts from Tory attacks that they are trying to go against the “will of the people”...
...the Conservatives are already launching these attacks on social media...Corbyn’s speech allows them to say - “we’ve said well back Brexit as long your deal is good enough”.... also throws some of the pressure back on to May, because they know Tory Beexiteers get mad about the idea of the PM using Lamour support to get her deal through....
....But essentially this is all political positioning, the reality is that Labour’s actual position is based on Starmer’s six tests - they are impossible to meet unless May stays in the single market, which she won’t AND SO....
....despite Corbyn’s offer (it’ll be written up as an ultimatum or olive branch in tomorrow’s papers), Labour is still *almost definitely* going to vote against May’s deal. That’s all folks.

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More from @JoeWatts_

Sep 8, 2018
Exclusive: Brexit talks at risk of collapse as British cabinet ministers brand EU compromise on Irish border 'unacceptable'…
I would actually wager that May will try to sign up to something like the EU compromise in this piece in the end.
Whatever the spin on the deal that comes out, the unavoidable fact is that what the EU fundamentally wants out of the backstop is fundamentally out of line with the U.K. position.
Read 5 tweets
May 8, 2018
Major blow to Theresa May’s Brexit plans as Lords votes to stay in single market....but that’s just the starts of it....…
At the weekend the Indy revealed that Tories in the Commons now have support to beat the government on the EEA amendment as long as Labour backs it too…
While May and her cabinet have been obsessing about the customs union, the cross-party rebel alliance has outflanked them on the single market
Read 9 tweets

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