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Is it time to consider Lexit?

If the current polls are to be believed then Jeremy Corbyn will be the UK's next Prime minister. So with all the talk of the current negotiations going on, the possibility of a Labour government before 2019 can't be ruled out. Indeed with all the political ups and downs of the last few years, it is reasonably easy to envisage Labour coming to power. But what would that mean for Brexit?

During the referendum campaign, Corbyn was vilified for his seeming lack of interest in being involved in the remain campaign. A lifelong Republican, it seems unlikely that Mr Corbyn would be a natural remainer and that may well account for this lack of warmth to the cause. During the recent general election campaign, Labour appeared to back the Conservative position of separatism from Europe. This may well be inspired by its leadership, which after a shaky start now seems to have a much firmer grip on the party than even the Conservatives. Though Labour is also facing an identity crisis; many Labour ministers are heavily for remaining in the customs union and the single market. This is now causing palpable levels of friction within the party. Not least because the natural tendency of the left would be towards lesser controls on immigration.

It seems that Labour would almost certainly end up somewhere close to the Tories on the subject, but the benefit of Labour is the ability for local members to make a difference. The upcoming conference season may considerably change the position of the Labour party if not the Conservatives. Labour policy is made very differently, and Corbyn has shown that he is open to supporting a broader party line. If Labour is to make up the next British government, then they will need to have a clear and unequivocal voice when it comes to the potential of Brexit negotiations.

The current lack of a clear message is potentially part of the reason why they didn't completely win the general election. Whilst they made impressive gains, the lack of certainty around Jeremy Corbyn and his personal position on many contentious issues was a problem. Though this problem only seems to be a perceived one, as the leader is reasonably open about many of his positions, even the more controversial ones.

With the Conservatives on the brink of a civil war, Labour needs to keep up the pressure. Their current status of government in waiting may be somewhat premature but nevertheless may actually be prudent. The current unpredictable nature of politics means that almost anything could happen at any time. Labour need to formulate a clear strategy on Brexit, and show that they would be able to take over proceedings in Brussels. They certainly have fire power in that department; Keir Starmer is a legal superstar and former director of public prosecutions. A better negotiator would be hard to find. They just need to clear up their message and get it out to the public.

 

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