SIENNA RODGERS, LabourList|AIWAI! NO!|For your daily dose of Brexit news, there are a couple of developments to report. Theresa May, in Argentina for the G20 summit, has firmly ruled out a Norway-style deal as a back-up plan. Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed that too, as European Economic Area membership comes with free movement. (Although Stephen Kinnock would disagree.) But, more importantly, May has also rejected Labour’s proposal of a customs union – so there is no compromise to be made.
Meanwhile, Hilary Benn and friends have tabled a cross-party amendment to the meaningful vote, which – like Labour’s amendment – opposes May’s deal and no-deal, but also ensures subsequent Brexit legislation is amendable. That means parliament takes control once the deal is voted down. Keir Starmer gave his backing to it on Twitter last night.
While MPs grapple with the detail of technical legislative work, activists on the left have been arguing about the correct response to Tommy Robinson’s Brexit march on 9th December. Another Europe is Possible’s Michael Chessum penned a Guardian piece earlier in the week describing the demonstration as representative of “the real-life, undeniable intersection of the Brexit project and the far right”. This sparked debate, as Lexiteers and others warned that conflating Brexit with extreme nationalism is dangerous and plays into Robinson’s hands.
Today John McDonnell has called on all Labour members to join Momentum’s counter-demonstration on the day. Touching on the recent debate, the Shadow Chancellor said: “This march isn’t about Brexit, it’s about far right extremists dressing up in suits and pretending to be respectable… It doesn’t matter whether you voted leave or remain, Tommy Robinson doesn’t represent you.”
Finally, on a cheery note for Friday, if you donate to Labour before 11am this morning, the party will send you a limited edition cats or dogs calendar. Cute.