Easily the most annoying thing about Corbyn’s time as Labour leader (and that is saying something) has been the moves to look like the party won’t block Brexit for any reason while simultaneously vowing to be tough on May’s Brexit plans. It has meant that nothing Labour has said or done since June 23rd of last year has made the slightest bit of sense. They wanted to seem like they were listening to both Remainers and Leavers ; instead, it seems like the haven’t listened to either side. Mostly because they haven’t actually listened to either side.
Keir Starmer has decided to add further to this unfortunate trope. I once had a lot of time for Starmer; I now wince every time his name appears in a headline. He’s been trotted out again to try and make some sense of Labour’s nonsensical position on Brexit, this time saying that Labour won’t suppport any vote on the final Brexit deal that doesn’t meet six qualifications. The final deal will not meet any of them incidentally, but that doesn’t actually matter – Labour gave away the final shred of power they had to influence the deal when they voted through the Brexit Bill a few weeks ago. In 2019, May will either search for more time or come forward with a final deal which will satisfy none of Starmer’s requirements. In that case, Labour can either reject the Bill and watch us crash out of the EU with no deal whatsoever, or vote for something which meets none of their supposed requirements. I guess having done this already with the Brexit Bill, it doesn’t feel like worse politics than anything else Corbyn’s team is doing these days, but it actually is: Labour have now taken responsibility for something which they have no control over.
There is something better Starmer could say about Brexit, though: nothing whatsoever. I somehow doubt that will be the case, however. Corbyn seems to determined to dig the world’s biggest hole ever on this issue, for reasons unknown.