May-Corbyn customs union is constitutional nonsense and a total victory for Brussels

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
3rd Apr 2019

So we lurch towards a permanent customs union and British infeudation as a non-voting member of the EU legal and regulatory system. This can end only in acrimony and years of bitter conflict with Europe.

Sooner or later an explosive issue will arise. It will become clear why a G7 industrial democracy with 65 million people cannot subcontract swaths of policy-making to a foreign power.  The constitutional arrangement is not viable. It guarantees an abrogation crisis down the road.

For good measure we are now more likely to get a radical-Left government as well, one with anti-globalist reflexes, confiscatory tax and anti-wealth policies, and possibly capital controls.

Personally I wanted some form of national government or joint Brexit council three years ago in the different circumstances of June 2016, before the well had been irreversibly poisoned. For Theresa May to do so now as a supplicant without a party behind her is fatal.

Her decision to defy the cabinet and expedite Brexit with Labour votes bestows legitimacy on a Labour leadership that has acted with shocking opportunism. It casts Jeremy Corbyn in the role of national saviour. It validates the media and global narrative of Tory obscurantism.

Whatever political price Mr Corbyn may pay among Northern Leavers for breaching his Manifesto, it will be more than offset by the repudiation of Toryism by the Conservative grass-roots. As Nigel Farage wrote in this newspaper, he will tear the Conservative Party limb from limb.