Jeremy Corbyn has today caved in on a Tory hard Brexit, confirming Labour’s position that Scotland should leave the single market with the rest of the UK. Giving in to the Tory Brexiteers, the London Labour leader has caused fresh embarrassment for Kezia Dugdale whose Scottish Labour group voted for Scotland to remain in the single market only three days ago at Holyrood.
This is the latest in a series of divergent statements between Mr Corbyn and his Scottish lieutenant, exposing a widening rift within Labour on the constitution, Brexit and a range of fundamental policies.
Mr Corbyn’s speech in Glasgow was overshadowed by comments from a senior Labour member, West Midlands Mayoral Candidate Sion Simon MEP, who has called for an end to the Barnett Formula. While Scottish Labour supports the settlement Scotland receives through Barnett, moves by the party in England to cut off funding for Scotland will mean further headaches for Kezia Dugdale.
Sharing a platform with her London boss, Kezia Dugdale also said that “the UK should continue to set a basic standard” on employment protections, despite the Tories’ consistent attempts to roll back employment rights, and the threat leaving the single market poses to this.
Commenting, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said:
“Today has been an utter shambles for Labour – pledging to help the Tories drag Scotland out of the European single market one minute, and demanding the end of the Barnett Formula and a cut to Scotland’s cash the next. It truly shows how little power Kezia Dugdale wields in her own party.
“It is quite remarkable for Kezia Dugdale to claim that employment rights are best protected by the UK when the Tories are doing all they can to roll these back – from changing trade union laws to dragging us out of the EU. And Brexit will only increase the threat to workers’ rights, in a race to the bottom which sees social protections ripped up.
“Just days after Scottish Labour voted to support the Scottish Government’s proposals to keep Scotland in the single market, Jeremy Corbyn has moved swiftly to remind Kezia Dugdale who’s boss – and that Westminster Labour is calling the shots.
“While the SNP stand up for Scotland’s interests in Europe against a Tory hard Brexit, Labour are just capitulating to the Tories at Westminster – opening the door to economic catastrophe.
“The comments from their West Midlands Mayoral candidate are also deeply concerning, and reveal that despite their rhetoric on protecting public services, Labour are itching to slash Scotland’s budget. Only the SNP can be trusted to stand up for Scotland.”
Sion Simon MEP’s tweet regarding the Barnett Formula: https://twitter.com/sionsimon/status/822402041716744193