This article in the guardian, entitled, “‘You’ve got to be joking’: Mandelson dismisses prospect of UK rejoining EU” reports a speech by Peter Mandelson to the BCC in which he reinforces the labour leadership’s argument that the UK will not rejoin the European Union. He states the British people would not want to go through another referendum and there is little appetite in in Europe to renegotiate a new accession.

I just ask how hard is it to say “yes”! The problem with Mandelson’s argument, although shared by others is they do not understand, firstly the damage that Brexit has done to our economy and standard of living and thus dismiss or at best trivialise the benefits that joining will realise and secondly all the opt outs from the European Union have gone. The only terms on which we might rejoin are full compliance with the treaties. It will not be a hard negotiation. What would be hard is negotiating piecemeal variations of the FCTA, which is what Labour claim to want.

This means no opt outs from the justice pillar which should never have been negotiated , compliance with the stability and growth pact and Euro membership, full payment of dues i.e no rebate, and if the the Irish agree,  membership of Schengen.

As for the pain of a referendum, it seems he’s changed his mind, or was his support for a people’s vote just a tactic to thwart a Corbyn led Labour Party. I also remind him, we don’t need a referendum, although it might be best; the EU needs confidence that the decision is the popular will of the masses, and the Brexiteers need to know they’ve lost and get over it.

  1. There are problems with the EU’s SGP but since Reeves’ Rules are even tougher than the SGP’s, they shouldn’t be hard for Labour to agree.
  2. We need to agree with the Republic of Ireland because of the Anglo-Irish common travel area; if the UK joins then so must Ireland.

Image Credit: The picture is CC World Economic Forum 2008 BY-NC-SA; this blog is non commercial.

No jokes Mr Mandelson!

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