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Corbyn’s support for Brexit betrayal

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Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Reuters

Jeremy Corbyn must abandon Brexit, writes Robert G. Patman.

Unless Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party, abandons his support for Brexit, he will risk becoming a political accomplice in what could be the greatest betrayal of British interests since Neville Chamberlain’s disastrous attempt to appease Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s.

At the beginning of 2018, the position of the Labour leadership is that it backs Brexit and opposes a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Mr Corbyn and his close ally, John McDonnell, recently confirmed Labour’s support for the Conservatives’ hard Brexit policy of withdrawing from the European single market — which accounts for 44% of British exports and provides employment for nearly three UK million workers — and the EU customs union.

The Labour leader said his party would ‘‘honour’’ the decision of the June 2016 referendum to leave the EU, but insisted he would not allow the country to ‘‘go off a cliff in March 2019’’ when Britain’s departure is formally scheduled.

Mr Corbyn said he rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s threat to leave the EU with no deal if the UK Government failed to negotiate an acceptable free trade deal with Brussels, and has argued he favours a ‘‘jobs Brexit’’.

But the position of the Labour leadership is economically puzzling and politically counter-productive.

It is not clear how withdrawing the UK from the world’s largest tariff-free market will enhance or safeguard the large number of British jobs that depend on access to that market.

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn’s........

© Otago Daily Times