Theresa May has come under unprecedented scrutiny over her Brexit deal, from both remain and leave figures. Jacob Rees-Mogg and other prominent Conservative MP’s are attempting to remove Theresa May as Tory leader, with the hope that 48 Conservative MP’s hand in their letter of no-confidence. However, this has not been achieved and their attempt to oust the PM is not working. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have also criticised the proposed Brexit deal. The problem is that Labour’s deal would be a lot worse, and neither the leadership nor the backbenches have a clue about what the party’s official position is.
On Monday, both Prime Minister May and Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the CBI (Confederate of British Industry) conference. The current head of the CBI has endorsed Theresa May’s Brexit plan because he believes that it protects jobs and thinks it is a steady way of exiting the EU. It is unsurprising that a person who is part of the establishment is so supportive of Theresa May, but the simple fact is the deal she has proposed is not the Brexit people voted for. When Jeremy Corbyn faced the CBI conference, he proposed his confusing Brexit plan and attempted to address the criticism over Labour’s tax policy on business. The problem is that there is no clear position for the Labour party as the front-bench, backbenchers, and party members all have different proposals.
Labour have been confused with their Brexit policy ever since the EU referendum took place in 2016. However, their crisis was highlighted at this year’s party conference in September. The party members turned out in force to show their party’s leadership that they want to endorse a second referendum or “people’s vote”. Labour’s Corbyn and McDonnell have always been staunch Eurosceptics and this clearly contradicts with the majority of Labour members. Nevertheless, they have taken a stance that the UK must remain in the customs union and the single market, however there are multiple problems with this proposal. Firstly, remaining in the customs union means we would be unable to strike trade deals with the rest of the world, because the customs union is a common external tariff. Secondly, the EU have consistently said that they refuse ‘cherry-picking’ but this is exactly what Labour are attempting to do.
Labour argue that the Theresa May’s deal is not taking back control and it is not delivering on the wishes of 17.4 million voters, but this is utter hypocrisy. Leaving the customs union and the single market was a key issue for leave voters and instead Labour want to remain in them. There is no question that Theresa May’s deal is frustrating, but in comparison to Labour’s proposal it is heaven. Moreover, Labour have not only come up with a terrible Brexit plan but they also don’t know whether they want a second referendum. Jeremy Corbyn has recently said that a second referendum is “not for today”, well when is it for? This statement completely contradicts Labour’s Brexit secretary who said that ‘a second referendum is still on the table’. It is blindingly obvious that the whole Labour party want to forget about Brexit and move onto their socialist agenda, but they can’t, and they must realise what Brexiteers voted for.
The Labour party are stuck in a tricky situation, because if they officially endorse a second referendum, then they are blatantly ignoring the wishes of the majority of the people. A staggering 40% of Brexit voters also voted Labour at the 2017 General Election, so if Labour were to endorse a referendum or even somehow implement their proposed Brexit plan, then it would be a disaster for them electorally. It is tiring to watch Corbyn at every PMQ’s attack Theresa May on her Brexit plan, when the mathematical fact is that he wouldn’t get his proposed deal through parliament either. Labour’s deal would be terrible for the UK, and the voters must realise that while Theresa May’s deal is pretty bad, it is a lot better than the awful socialist Brexit that Labour wants.