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  • Deal or no deal, both Labour and the Tories will split over Brexit | Rafael Behr | Opinion

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See the news Deal or no deal, both Labour and the Tories will split over Brexit | Rafael Behr | Opinion from Source Guardian on 12/02/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

Deal or no deal, both Labour and the Tories will split over Brexit | Rafael Behr | Opinion

A casual observer seeing Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn exchange rhetorical blows over Brexit in the Commons today might imagine that they stand on opposite sides of this totemic issue. But veterans of the debate know they are equal in determination that Britain should leave the EU. They are separated from consensus by small technical matters that can, for theatrical effect, be inflated into irreconcilable differences. That process is testimony to the hold that the two-party system exerts over English politics and to much of what is wrong with it.Brexit keeps promising to break party lines and then failing to do so. That is partly because pro-Europeanism and the British left stand on overlapping cultural ground. The remain proposition goes well beyond attachment to EU membership: it is driven by revulsion at the nativist spirit of Brexit’s marauding generals – Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg – and shock that they have hijacked Britain’s political identity. But that dismay is not exclusive to Labour. It is felt by liberal Tories and swing voters who just pine for competent, rational government.There’s only one way to head off Theresa May’s threat of no-deal chaos | Zoe Willlliams Read more The result of the last general election was confusing, in that sense. Corbyn’s strength on the stump accounts for some of Labour’s performance. But so does May’s self-destructive campaign, reinforcing caricatures of Tory nastiness and repelling anyone with doubts about Brexit. On 8 June 2017 three forces combined to Labour’s benefit: Corbynism, vaguer anti-Toryism and remain – in what proportions no one knows. The fault lines were then concealed by an outbreak of loyalty among Labour MPs. Those who had expected voters to despise Corbyn’s candidacy were chastened. For various reasons (some genuine reappraisal of the leader’s qualities and an absence of better ideas) the moderates mostly fell into line. Many found sanctuary in the pro-European cause, which brought reconciliation with the rank and file membership. MPs who had been out in the cold because of their hostility to Corbyn took a warm bath in grassroots affinity for remain.The internal opposition was dormant, not extinct. Corbyn’s mealy-mouthed response to the Salisbury poisonings, marked by reluctance to blame the Kremlin, drove some MPs to distraction. His refusal to show any regret for a career spent rubbing shoulders with antisemites has pushed others to despair. But the European question has kept many dissidents from quitting. They thought they had a better chance of influencing the Brexit outcome from inside the party. That conviction has crumbled in recent weeks. Corbyn’s Euroscepticism is on display more clearly than at any time since his days as a backbencher, when he denounced the EU as a sinister imperial project. Old videos of him railing against the Brussels enemy as a “military Frankenstein” are now gleefully shared by Ukippers online. The Labour leader’s constant reluctance to back a second referendum was for months excused as tactical caution. Increasingly, it looks like sabotage.How many voters would identify with a movement born in simultaneous aversion to Corbyn and Brexit? No one can be sureLabour pro-Europeans have been taken for a ride. Their Tory equivalents are now grasping the...

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See the news Deal or no deal, both Labour and the Tories will split over Brexit | Rafael Behr | Opinion from Source Guardian on 12/02/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.