8 June 2017

Crossing Fingers for Corbyn

Given Theresa May’s hard line on Brexit, many business leaders in Germany will be quietly hoping she loses today’s general election — even though the alternative is a dyed-in-the-wool leftwinger.

In normal times, German business leaders would tend to root for a Conservative victory in a British general election. After all, the Conservatives usually stand for business-friendly policies such as deregulation, privatization and tax cuts.

But these times are anything but normal. In fact, a victory for Jeremy Corbyn, the die-hard leftist leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party who wants to nationalize mail, rail and energy companies, might send champagne corks popping in at least some German boardrooms.

That’s because Mr. Corbyn advocates a so-called soft Brexit in which Britain would retain access to the single market, which would minimize disruption to German trade with one of its most important markets.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May by contrast favors a hard Brexit in which Britain would forfeit access to the single market so that it can reclaim full control of immigration. She said she is even prepared to quit the EU without any trade deal.

Article by: Till Hoppe and Kerstin Leiten