Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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If Boris Johnson quits, MPs should back Jeremy Corbyn to avoid no deal

Polly Toynbee writes:

When parliament reconvenes in October it will have 12 days to close all loopholes and prevent a no-deal exit. Johnson may resign, or as a last resort Labour may need to depose him with a no-confidence vote. If so, the leader of the opposition would be called first to form an interim government; but will the alliance [with the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Plaid Cymru, and exiled Tories] stomach him? When first mooted, the answer was no, but many are showing a new willingness to accept the inevitable.

Take Kenneth Clarke, the expelled former Tory chancellor. Asked which is worse, Corbyn or no-deal Brexit, he tells the Observer: “Both are awful prospects, but I think a no-deal Brexit could cause far more damage to our future economic success than Corbyn.” More astonishing is last week’s report “City warms to Corbyn” in the Telegraph (yes, the Telegraph!). Citibank and Deutsche Bank analysts say he is “now seen as the lesser of two evils”. His policies may be “market-unfriendly” but still preferable to the “permanent shock” of no-deal Brexit. “Fears” of Labour “may be overstated”.

Others need persuading: the Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, may be softening her “no way” stance. If not, she’ll lose the party’s reputation for pragmatic politics. Starmer says to exit the EU with no deal through squabbling would be unforgivable. It can’t and mustn’t happen. Understandably, Swinson fears that going into an election in November she may be attacked as a Corbyn stooge, but she’d never be forgiven if she let Britain crash out. [Continue reading…]

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