Strange scenes yesterday as Labour unveiled a new amendment on the single market. It demands “full access to the internal market of the European Union” which would be “underpinned by shared institutions and regulations, with no new impediments to trade and common rights, standards and protections”. Remainers split pretty much down the middle. To many it was a betrayal. This was Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to buy off Labour rebels ahead of next week’s crunch vote on EEA membership. This is a form of single market membership which is actually on offer and could save jobs now, rather than the non-existent form the Labour is seemingly talking about. But to others it was the sign of a shift towards a softer Labour position, concrete evidence of movement to a sane policy which reflects the views of Labour members and voters. So which is it? The latter, but with big juicy caveats. It’s true that the terms in the amendment are mostly meaningless. “Access” is the coward’s way out in the single market debate. Everyone has access to a market, simply by selling into it or buying from it. Membership is key and Labour tellingly refuses to use that word. You could… Read full this story
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