UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slithers toward sellout


UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slithers toward sellout

Chris Marsden

1 March 2018

The depth of the political crisis facing British imperialism is indicated by the generally welcoming response of the main business organisations to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speech on Brexit delivered on Monday.

Amid intense discussion of how long Prime Minister Theresa May can survive, Corbyn’s pledge to seek a new negotiated customs union with the European Union (EU) was hailed for providing opportunities to counteract the dominance of the “hard-Brexit” wing of the Conservative Party. This, it is hoped, could make possible a negotiated agreement allowing tariff-free access to the Single European Market and even reversing Brexit should May’s efforts to secure an acceptable Brexit deal fail.

The Financial Times praised Corbyn’s “welcome shift on the customs union” for serving “the national interest” by possibly pushing the Conservatives to pursue “a more sensible Brexit.”

Confederation of British Industry Director General Carolyn Fairbairn praised the “Labour leader’s commitment to a customs union” that puts “jobs and living standards first by remaining in a close economic relationship with the EU.” Stephen Martin of the Institute of Directors added that “many businesses, particularly manufacturers, will be pleased to hear the Opposition’s proposal to keep a customs union on the table.”

The welcome extended to Corbyn by such forces is a warning of the pro-business and anti-working-class character of his programme. A careful reading of his speech provides a measure of the role that would be played by any future Labour government, under conditions where a deepening Tory crisis could hasten a general election.

The right-wing media is…

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