Please see my latest wire for The New York Sun, ‘Tories’ Muddled Approach to British Independence Costs UK Its Compass’:
Not for the first time, Britons go to the polls with the European Union the unseen ballot question.
In 2013 David Cameron promised fractious Conservative members of parliament, chaffing under a coalition government, that a referendum on remaining within the European Union would be put before the people. Then it was the Brexit vote itself, with a majority of Britons voting for independence.
Now, with a general election tomorrow, the question revolves around who will steer negotiations: Theresa May’s Tories or Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor party?
For the Brexit purist, neither choice is satisfying. Mrs. May hadn’t campaigned for Brexit last year and, while she has said that “Brexit means Brexit,” the government’s opening gambit has been to accept minor concessions that belie the determination of Britain’s bid for sovereignty, whether, say, paying to participate in the single market and customs union or converting existing EU law to UK law.
As for Labor, while it has mouthed platitudes about respecting the Brexit referendum, its composition of loose variables — from those die-hard statist Europhiles to those who want a second referendum vote — leave much to be desired, as demonstrated by its approach to the EU: placate Europe for access to its markets, enshrine workers’ rights into law without corresponding care for the rights of entrepreneurial capital, and outright rejection of the Tory position that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”
My thanks to editor Seth Lipsky of The New York Sun.