Fascinating tweets from two senior Times journalists today accusing Labour of “cooperating” with Michel Barnier to weaken Britain’s negotiating position and promote the EU plan to annex Northern Ireland. Brussels correspondent Bruno Waterfield says the timing of Corbyn’s speech to coincide with Barnier’s draft text is “no accident” and that Labour and the EU are working “in tandem”. Labour say it is not fair to imply collusion – hardly a strong denial – and say the EU draft text was expected in January. But that’s when Labour’s customs union u-turn was originally expected too. Sam Coates reported it was set to happen in December… why was it delayed to the week of Barnier’s own customs union push?
It is no accident that Corbyn speech came this week just before Barnier’s push for a customs union for NI, potentially unraveling the UK. It’s all pressure for a similar UK-wide customs union. I think it’s a bad look both for the EU and Labour to be seen working this in tandem.
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) February 28, 2018
This hints at co-operation between Labour and Barnier to change Theresa May’s brexit position. (Keir Starmer is in Brussels today for talks with the Commission btw) https://t.co/wQ3wE4iaeC
— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) February 28, 2018
In the last week we have had Blair’s intervention, Major’s speech, Labour’s customs union u-turn pushed by Starmer and the trade unions and now Barnier’s call for a customs union for Northern Ireland. Why are Labour and Remainers undermining the UK’s negotiating position? This could become a real theme…