Brexit Britain’s ‘sharp’ leftward turn risks realising Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist dream
Nicola Sturgeon launches blistering Brexit attack
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Matthew Parris said that Thatcherism is now “dead” because leaving the EU “appears to be serving left-wing policy goals instead of creating the economic landscape that Brexiteers dreamt of”. Policies such as state bailouts, tax rises and public sector pay deals which reflect labour shortages are unlikely to meet much opposition – even from within the Tory party itself, he claimed.
Writing in the Times, Mr Parris said the capitalist market principles on which the EU was founded were increasingly falling out of favour in the UK.
And while the referendum was brought about by a right-wing revolt in the Conservatives, it had in effect benefitted many low-paid British workers who had suffered from wage compression brought about by uncapped immigration.
This, in essence, is why the former Labour leader was always a “closet” Brexiteer, he wrote.
Since leaving the bloc, many sectors – including haulage and social care – have seen severe shortages as the limitless supply of cheap labour was cut off overnight.
Firms in these sectors have had to respond by raising wages, in some cases vastly, to try and plug the gap.
This was Mr Corbyn’s chief motivation for leaving the EU’s “capitalist club”, Mr Parris said.
He wrote: “A right-wing revolution Brexit appears to be serving left-wing policy goals instead of creating the economic landscape that Brexiteers dreamt of.
“Jeremy Corbyn was right about the possibilities for the left that Brexit opened up, and what’s happening is closer to his playbook than to that of the Brexit right.
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“Always a closet Brexiteer, (Mr) Corbyn’s dislike of the EU comes straight from the textbook of the socialist hardliners, stretching in an unbroken line from Michael Foot to Peter Shore and Tony Benn to (Mr) Corbyn himself.
“(Mr) Foot’s 1983 election manifesto was clear: Labour would ‘introduce the necessary legislation to prepare for Britain’s withdrawal from the EEC, to be completed well within the lifetime of the Labour government’.”
He added: “The clarity of the British right’s economic analysis has always been prey to chronic attacks of nationalism. Brexit was one of them.
“My old party put faith before reason and spleen before brain, and four years of yelling at each other followed.
“Oh what a waste of time, effort and anger this has all been.”
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