‘Corbyn’s speech is most important for its opening up a clear policy divide – 20 months after the Brexit vote – between Labour and Tories. That should make for an opposition starting to hold the government more to account. Whether it will result in the torpedoing of May’s Brexit strategy or even in an early election are the big questions that lie ahead.
‘To argue for the UK to stay in the EU’s single market and customs union is to argue to stay as close to the status quo as possible while giving up vote, voice and a seat at the table. Faced with a more damaging type of Brexit, it sounds sensible – until you look at the democratic cost. Compared to being an EU member state it is surely absurd’.
“For political parties that want a second vote – whether on the UK staying in the EU or Scotland being independent in the EU – this will be the key time.” “If the talks break down, then autumn 2018 will be a moment of crisis – one that all players should be making their plans for now, too.”
“Sturgeon’s paper is a serious in-depth piece of analysis. It respects the original Scottish Parliament vote by 92-0…The Scottish Government has followed up and respected that vote – but the politics has moved on. A differentiated deal for Scotland looks highly unlikely. And while the ball is now in May’s court – it is likely to be back in Sturgeon’s very soon.
“Theresa May’s refusal to bring a bill to the Commons or to publish a White Paper on Brexit has been an extraordinary rejection of basic democratic accountability and debate.” But: “84% of MPs at Westminster voted to set the UK on a rapid path to Brexit, with the Tory government of the day supported by the main Labour opposition.”
“Might there be an early general election? This looks very likely if MPs did succeed in passing a vote that either rejected Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating goals or if they passed a vote for a second referendum on the outcome of the talks… an early general election would result in a Tory landslide and ensure a fairly free hand for May from then on.”
Kirsty Hughes that at a time of major global and European challenges, the UK’s decision to sideline itself and retreat into mercantilism, is an act of folly with ramifications that are much bigger than the narrower question of whether or not the UK keeps access to the EU’s single market.
Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland should at least stay in the EU single market but: “the political and technical complexity of the proposal does raise the obvious question as to whether such a move is easier or more desirable, even in the short term, than full independence in the EU,” argues a leading expert.
“In meetings of the Council of Ministers, insiders say that no one now listens when UK representatives talk. The UK still has a vote – but without good allies in other member states to work with on blocking or promoting decisions, the UK’s and Scotland’s interests are already not being protected in the EU.” So, #indyref2 in early 2017 is the only answer, First Minister?
“Any options for Scotland to stay, at least partly, in the EU while rUK leaves were always going to depend on political will as well as technical feasibility. Theresa May has made her position clear. What is Nicola Sturgeon’s?” The stakes get higher.