Corbyn's sensible position on a Brexit deal?

Jeremy Corbyn's position on a Brexit deal is a sensible one, whether or not people agree with it.  But no doubt it will be criticised from all sides.  Corbyn is set to frustrate those who wish for an entrenched position on either side of the fence.

They want it all to be simple.  Either you are in or out.  Corbyn now asks an interesting question: shouldn't we wait and see what deal can really be achieved with proper negotiation?  He also dares to suppose that, with the right kind of arrangement with the EU, we "could be" better off out.   Note that he doesn't say we would be.  He simply thinks we should consider it.  After all, if we could get a "good" deal, it might make it possible to heal a divided country and rescue the United Kingdom from a constitutional crisis.

Today on BBCs Marr show he teased out the distinction between those who support the EU as a matter of principle and those who want to remain but do not like the move to an  'ever closer union'.

The problem is Brexit has been considered as a binary issue, yet we have three divides on Brexit.  First whether to be in or out, but we also the more important division about what we are in it for and what role we wish to play in Europe.

There are many who wish to remain in the EU but who are concerned about the ever-closer integration.  I am one of them.   Political integration is not the answer to everything.

This does not mean I don't support the EU on principle.  I do.   It is vital that European countries working together to foster democracy, civil rights and environmental protection.   But this is not necessarily best achieved by creating an unwieldy  'United States of Europe'.   People need to feel empowered in relation to the issues that affect them.

This is why 'take back control' was such a powerful slogan in the EU referendum.  The EU became the whipping boy for all the problems in the United Kingdom, and Brexit a miraculous cure.  It was a simple message, we will be better off "free" from the "shackles" of Brussels.  Get us out at all cost.

No amount of analysis of that cost will change that message.  Food shortages, medicine shortages, business closures, unemployment, on and on the list goes...but to no effect.  In the end, such statistics have nothing to do with the central issue of British "sovereignty."

Would "hard-remainers" accept any kind of deal? Only, perhaps, when faced with no-deal. But in reality, they never wanted any kind of deal.  They want to remain, just as much as "hard-leavers" want to leave.

So Corbyn is probably on a hiding to nothing, even as he presents perhaps the most honest answer to the problem, which is to see what kind of deal we can get, and then let the people decide.

If Labour now adopts a simplistic remain at all costs position, along with the Liberal Democrats, then we are left with a deepening rift.  A general election could then produce another hung parliament but with the Tories elected on what they consider a mandate to take the UK out deal or no-deal.  That is a recipe for disaster.

My heart is in remain. Currently, in a people's vote, I would vote remain.  After the referendum result, all the main parties said they accepted the result but that we should leave with a deal.  Abandoning that position is not good for our democracy, and nor would it with certainty produce the result remain would wish for.  Perhaps we should give deal a chance.

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