Boris Johnson may have won over the ERG and the DUP, but it’s the EU that must be persuaded should the Prime Minister be able to secure a Brexit deal. And they are “unconvinced”. Johnson needs to go back to the drawing board, and despite what he said about this being his final offer it seems that isn’t the case. But all moves towards further checks on the island of Ireland or a time-limited backstop – anything that undermines the Good Friday Agreement – will alienate Labour MPs who could vote for a deal.
Plus, he’s stripped out the “level playing field standards” part. Jeremy Corbyn told the chamber yesterday: “No Labour MP could support such a reckless deal that would be used as springboard to attack rights and standards in this country.” But if it’s good enough for the EU, avoids no deal and goes some way towards breaking the Brexit deadlock, it looks like some Labour MPs could be prepared to back it – particularly those who are retiring, such as Jim Fitzpatrick.
On LabourList today, we already have two pieces I’d recommend reading. Shadow cabinet member Richard Burgon has penned one ripping apart the Lib Dem refusal to back Corbyn as a caretaker PM with a limited mandate. As Burgon puts it: “They were happy to make David Cameron Prime Minister for five years, but their current position is that they wouldn’t consider making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister for even five minutes – even for the purpose of stopping a ‘no deal’ Brexit and calling a general election that could lead to a public vote on a Brexit deal.”
The other piece is written by two graduates of the new Bernie Grant Leadership Programme, Neal Tank and councillor Shelly Darwin. They share with us the most rewarding aspects of the programme and their related reflections on Labour’s relationship with BAME representation. Huge talent is being showcased, but – they ask – is anyone paying attention? Recent parliamentary selections would suggest not, it is argued. The article is well worth a read.
Speaking of selections, a new parliamentary candidate for a safe Labour seat will be selected tomorrow to replace defector Mike Gapes in Ilford South. It is expected to be a close run thing between TSSA’s Sam Tarry, who worked on Corbyn’s leadership campaigns, and local council leader Jas Athwal, who was last week given an unexpected boost when shortlisted lefty Sonia Klein endorsed him. The shortlist of Labour’s London Assembly candidates who have made it through the first stages should also be revealed soon, and it will go up on LabourList as soon as it is available.
I’m off to the countryside. Have a great weekend.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.