My fantasy Corbyn speech: ‘I can no longer go along with a ruinous Brexit’

Alastair Campbell writes: Last week I wrote a speech for Theresa May, which concluded with an announcement that she had decided Brexit was impossible to deliver. Sadly she didn’t listen, and so onwards she leads us towards the cliff edge. I am hoping for better luck with Jeremy Corbyn, fantasising that he delivers this speech to a rally of his faithful Momentum followers …

“Thank you for that wonderful reception. Yes, yes, I know my name. ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’. Yes, that’s me. Now please stop singing and sit down. Please.

“I will be honest with you. I didn’t want the job. I didn’t think I would get the job. I wasn’t sure I could do the job. But thanks to you I got it. Thanks to you I now have the confidence to do it. I approach the challenge of being prime minister not with fear or trepidation but with confidence that our time is coming. That it is our duty now to serve. Protest is one thing. Government is another. And we must now prepare, genuinely prepare, as a government in waiting.

“If I become prime minister it is Brexit that will define my leadership. As a result of what happened on 23 June 2016 I have no choice in the matter. The people’s choice dictates that it is so.

I have concluded that rejecting this vision of Brexit is the only route to the vision of the world that drives us
“It is clear to me the constructive ambiguity of our position on Brexit is no longer tenable. It is fine for a party of protest. It is not good enough for a party one step away from government.

“Let’s imagine this entirely credible scenario. As the current chaos inside the government continues, Mrs May falls. The Tories try to foist another prime minister on us, chosen by their ageing membership. But we and the public won’t wear it. We force an election. We win an election. I am prime minister. Now the hard part begins.

“What does our ‘jobs-first’ Brexit mean then, in power? What is a jobs-first Brexit if our leaving the single market hurts growth, as every analysis in the world says it will? What is a jobs-first Brexit dependent on trade if trade slows and even grinds to a halt with the absence of a proper customs infrastructure at our ports, the absence of good trade deals not just with the EU but with the 66 countries with whom we have deals as part of the EU? What is a jobs-first Brexit if firms decide that if the UK leaves the EU, they leave the UK, and take their jobs and their tax take with them?

“And how can we fund all the things in our election manifesto that we need and want to fund in the future if our economy tanks?

“At Labour’s party conference, I said that our continued membership of the EU would prevent us from implementing many of the plans in our manifesto. I am grateful to the New European, which sought legal advice in Brussels and established this was not the case. So the question becomes, not ‘What do we lose by staying in?’, but ‘What do we lose by coming out?’ [Continue reading…]

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