A frequent criticism of Jeremy Corbyn and the revitalised, principled, post-Blair Labour Party is their lack of clarity on Brexit -- some speculated that Corbyn felt that Brexit would, at least, allow for re-nationalisation of privatised industries, something the EU might block -- but at Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, Corbyn shredded Theresa May and the Tories with a series of relentless, devastating questions about the slow-motion train-wreck that is the Tories' bungling handling of Brexit.
Polly Toynbee's postmortem on the Prime Minister and Exchequer's humiliating performances and Corbyn's sea-change sounds very plausible to me: noting that the EU was sold in part by guaranteeing neoliberal financial deregulation and the essential role of the EU in imposing brutal austerity to working people in order to ensure capital flows to bondholders (in Greece, Spain and elsewhere), Toynbee hypothesises that Corbyn has an instinctive "'capitalist club' Euroscepticism", but that this has been overriden by the views of Corbyn's base in the party's youth wing and the trade unions.
More important than the views of Corbyn's allies is the changing nature of the facts over Brexit; the Tories are steaming towards a deregulation bonanza in which the UK's principle exports will be financial secrecy for the world's looter class and unlimited cruelty to real people in the real economy.
In PMQs he has usually dodged the great issue. But his tone changed recently: on a visit to Shipley, in West Yorkshire, he was asked how he would vote if there were a referendum now – a question the PM and chancellor duck, while those turncoats Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss cravenly recant. Corbyn unhesitatingly said he’d vote remain: “I voted remain because I thought the best option was to remain. I haven’t changed my mind.”
He added: “We must make sure we obtain tariff-free access to the European markets and protection of all the rights and membership of agencies we have achieved through the European Union.”
He was, say some, hesitant on unfamiliar policy turf. But now he has found his feet, and his voice and confidence. “The danger is, we will get to March 2019 with no deal, we fall out of the EU, we go on to World Trade Organisation rules, and there will be threats to a lot of jobs all across Britain,” he warned. “I think it is quite shocking.”
This time next week the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will deliver his verdict on whether sufficient progress has been made. He has already thrown down the challenge to the chaotic Tories: what kind of country does Britain want to be, a European model country, or something else altogether?
Theresa May doesn’t know, but Jeremy Corbyn does. The European model beckons as the enlightened, internationalist, progressive vision – the Europhobic model is a land of impoverished deregulation.
Corbyn has seen the light on Brexit. Now he’s taking the fight to the Tories [Polly Toynbee/Guardian]
(via Naked Capitalism)