The independent London newspaper

Corbyn offers no decisive leadership

07 February, 2019

‘Is it any wonder that Jeremy Corbyn’s standing in the polls has fallen steadily?’

• WITH fewer than 50 days left until we crash out of the EU despair is mixed with urgency. The disaster we face is now apparent.

It is not just a shortage of tomatoes or salad; the scale of the jobs and revenue we are already losing is immense. Nissan has written to its workers in Sunderland: the next model of SUV will not be built in Britain.

Nor is it the only car maker sounding the alarm. Investment in Britain’s car industry has halved during the past two years: and that is while we are still inside the EU.

Five of Britain’s largest banks are transferring 750 billion euros of assets to Frankfurt to gain EU permission to go on providing services across the bloc. With the money has gone jobs – and not just to Germany. Several thousand staff are being sent to Paris, Dublin and Madrid.

The value of the pound has already been hit – as anyone knows who has been on holiday in Europe or beyond. It has fallen by 10 per cent and if we crash out of the EU it could fall further. This has left everyone in Britain poorer, even if they never leave our shores. All our imports are now that much more expensive.

A number of media firms are moving out, so that they can continue broadcasting across the EU. European migrants who serve in the NHS, or build and maintain our houses, offices and factories, are going home.

The European Medicines Agency is transferring to Amsterdam. Universities have lost research grants… and so the list goes on. This is no “project fear” or future threat. This is the price Britain has already paid.

In this crisis many have turned to Labour, as the official opposition, for leadership. It has been sadly lacking. Jeremy Corbyn continues to press for a snap election. Is it any wonder that Corbyn’s standing in the polls has fallen steadily?

As Chris Curtis of YouGov put it: “Despite riding high in the aftermath of the 2017 general election, the Labour leader’s favourability rating has returned to its pre-election doldrums and Brexit is a big part of the reason why. Possibly the most dramatic trend found in any poll over the past year has been the slump in support for Jeremy Corbyn.”

This is deeply depressing. What we need is decisive leadership: it is simply inadequate to go on calling for some magical “better Brexit”. It is absolutely clear that any form of Brexit will be deeply damaging, dividing our communities and leaving us poorer. This is simply the wrong road to travel. Let’s leave it behind.

Ryland Road, NW5


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