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The News Line: Editorial Cowardly Corbyn desperately walks the tightrope over the EU and the single market! LABOUR’S right wing were furious on Friday after the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party conference blocked a vote on single market membership. Instead, the Labour leadership proposed a ‘unity motion’ that does not mention the single market. It is close your eyes and it may all go away time!

Corbyn’s position was put by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard who told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme that it would be a ‘mistake’ to ‘throw all our eggs in the basket of saying the Scottish Labour Party supports full membership of the single market’ while Brexit negotiations were ongoing. Labour is leaving the issue to the Tories!

Corbyn explained his cowardly position to the conference saying: ‘And as Theresa May has now admitted, under her plans for a reckless Tory Brexit the UK risks losing access to European markets. Make no mistake about it, reduced access to European markets means fewer economic opportunities for people in the UK… ‘That is why we would seek to negotiate a new customs union with the EU after Brexit to ensure that there are no tariffs with Europe and help avoid any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland. ‘But we are also clear that the option of a new UK customs union with the EU would need to ensure the UK has a say in future trade deals.

‘Labour would not countenance a deal that left Britain as a passive recipient of rules decided elsewhere by others.’ He obviously wants to remain in the EU but he is too scared of losing the Labour’s support in the working class if he openly says so.

He continued: ‘A comprehensive new customs union would cement our close trading relationship with our European partners… That is why retaining the benefits of the customs union and the single market is vital to future Labour governments in both Holyrood and Westminster if we are to fully implement our socialist programme for change in our society.’ Remaining in the EU is vital for carrying out a socialist programme!!! He continued: ‘As democratic socialists we respect the result of the referendum, but Labour has its own common sense approach in stark contrast to the Tories’ extreme and reckless plans for Brexit.’ We are democrats but only up to a certain point!

He continued: ‘We would aim to negotiate a new and strong relationship with the single market and a floor under existing rights, standards and protections for workers, consumers and the environment… That’s why we would want to negotiate protections or exemptions where necessary from current rules and directives that push privatisation and public service competition or restrict our ability to intervene to support domestic and local industry and business or undermine attempts to protect rights at work.’ He wants an EU deal that will allow the UK to give state aid to industry and carry out nationalisations. There is not and there will not be any such EU deal.

‘We cannot be held back inside or outside the EU from taking the steps we need to develop and invest in cutting edge industries and local business stop the tide of privatisation and outsourcing, or from preventing employers being able to import cheap agency labour to undercut existing pay and conditions in the name of free market orthodoxy…’ This is not true. Labour could be and would be held back from socialist policies inside the EU.

He continued: ‘The European Union is set to make changes of its own in the coming period especially in relation to the rules governing Eurozone economies and the rights of temporary migrant workers.
‘It would therefore be wrong to sign up to a single market deal without agreement that our final relationship with the EU would be fully compatible with our radical plans to change Britain’s economy.’
This is just trying to justify unprincipled ‘wait and see’. ‘And we also need to be clear we could not accept a situation where we were subject to all EU rules and EU law, yet had no say in making those laws That would leave us as mere rule-takers and isn’t a tenable position for a democracy.’ This is the argument for staying in the EU! Corbyn refuses to call for a general election because he would have to have a clear programme that would be the opposite to the programme that Labour stood on in the last general election.
That is why he is content to remain on the political sidelines and let May get on with it! Shame on him!


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