Owen Smith says UK could apply to rejoin EU under Labour



Owen Smith has raised the possibility of a future Labour government seeking renewed British membership of the EU, saying the UK could rejoin the bloc if the political and economic cost of Brexit was seen as too high.

The Labour leadership challenger has previously promised to push for a new referendum on the terms of any Brexit deal if he defeats Jeremy Corbyn, but on Sunday went further.

He said it would be “sensible and responsible” for a Labour government to seek a return to the EU, if Theresa May led the UK out of the union before the 2020 election, and if the provision of public services was badly hit by the move.

Asked on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show about the possible fallout from the government triggering article 50 in time for an exit before the next general election, Smith said reapplying for membership again was theoretically possible.

“I think it’s very hard to answer because it’s a hypothetical question,” Smith said.

“At that point, if we had gone into a further recession, if we had the prospect of another 10 years of Tory austerity, if they were saying that the price for our staying out is opening up the NHS to private sector competition, it is worse terms and conditions – ‘more flexibility and less red tape’, as the Tories would no doubt dub it – then I think the sensible and responsible thing for a Labour government to do is to say we are better off in the European Union.”


Remainers sure do like to keep dreaming.

I thinik is Europe no longer wants the UK in the EU as their leaders that “care” so much for the British people are now going to use them and try to make an example out of them so others don’t leave the superstate.

But leave it to dying Labour to circumvent Democratic process.

And why would anyone want to be a leader in Labour anyways? Even after all that sniveling pandering that Corbyn, he was still labeled a racist by his own followers.

Besides, I think once the UK leaves and is prosperous again (and finally gets a trade deal with India without having to worry about Italian textile merchants) then more people may want to stay independent from the EU corpse.


He said it would be “sensible and responsible” for a Labour government to seek a return to the EU, if Theresa May led the UK out of the union before the 2020 election, and if the provision of public services was badly hit by the move.

Return to the EU really is a matter of what happens to the economy (which would have consequent effects on public services) and time - the ‘grim reaper’ working his way through the aged Brexiters :slight_smile: and the fact that, from here onwards, everything that goes wrong will be blamed on Brexit, just as everything up to now has been blamed on the EU.

Well, that and whether the UK would be able to meet the joining criteria at the applicable time, of course.


Kaninchen;14162915]Return to the EU really is a matter of what happens to the economy (which would have consequent effects on public services) and time - the ‘grim reaper’ working his way through the aged Brexiters :slight_smile:

I don’t mean to interrupt the laughing in the sleeve and silver lining proclamation (even though Remain lost in the same democratic process their leaders claim to value, but those of us on Leave know better) but “despite the best efforts of the Western education system,” as Pat Condell would say, “a lot of young people actually manage to think for themselves”.

Besides, by the time the dust settles, Western Europe may be either tribal warfare, as Condell also notes, or a sharia colony split between between Russian protectorates and Wahabbi shrieks.

And we all know many on the left is more than happy to give up their rights to someone who isn’t a straight Anglo/Teutonic conservative Christian male.

and the fact that, from here onwards, everything that goes wrong will be blamed on Brexit, just as everything up to now has been blamed on the EU.

Well, the sky’s the limit for the UK and considering how the EU was a complete albatross around the neck of the British people, things will get better for most. Those who will lose out will be those who are subsidized by the EU and subsequently a good chunk of British taxpayers which means they;ll actually have to find a marketable position instead of relying on EU voters forced into international taxation.

Well, that and whether the UK would be able to meet the joining criteria at the applicable time, of course.

Indeed…they may not be sympathetic enough to sharia law and/or neo-Nazism.

Who knows? Maybe by then the EU will be jointly ruled from Moscow and Riyadh.

No women’s rights, no so-called gay “marriage” and no where to go and :crying: on a street corner with people who are different.

Doesn’t sound like something Labour would want off-hand, but then again, liberals in the First World have demonstrated repeatedly their idealistic causes are expendable for the advancement of their careers and historical place. As such, Labour may not even that serious about this. They took a massive hit over Brexit and were in trouble anyways, so this may be a step just to claim relevancy over a poorly-informed voting base.

Considering all of this, it’s no wonder Brexit happened! :smiley:


Why wouldn’t Scotland apply first, and circumvent the entire matter?

Such a move, and it’s approval would shift the center of power in the UK from London to Edinburgh.


Scotland would have to withdraw from the UK, first. Then they could join the EU. But then the center of power for the rest of the UK would still be London. The center of power for Scotland would be in Brussels. Edinburgh, and Scotland in general, would have less and less say over their affairs as time goes on, and the EU continues to “develop” or increase its power; and reduce the power of lower level governments, or private entities.

I have no doubt the EU would admit Scotland, or readmit the UK. I think they will gradually make it practically impossible for anyone to leave in the future.

The only reason the EU might postpone admitting Scotland might be that they want to use Scotland as a hook, to bring in (drag in) the whole UK. The EU might prefer to keep Scotland angry, and the EU might use its own power to manipulate the UK electorate.

The EU administration is not the sum of all the member countries. It is an entity of its own, with an agenda of its own.


Are you aware of the identity of the man who thought up the original idea behind this EU “corpse” and actually used the term “European Union” decades before it was adopted at Maastricht in 1992?

I think that many Catholics on the Trump-esque end of the political spectrum in the U.S. do not and the genesis may surprise them.

I’ll let the guy who thought it up and laid the blueprint for the Founding Fathers of the EU, mostly devout Catholics, speak for himself…:wink:


Roman Catholicism and the Founding of Europe: How Catholics Shaped the European Communities

The Holy See, which had backed the failed League of Nations, came out strongly in favor of a federated international system. Before the war ended Pius XII called for the “formation of an organ for the maintenance of peace, of an organ invested by common consent with supreme power, to whose office it would also pertain to smother in its germinal state any threat of isolated or collective aggression.” 52

But while the pope’s call for international cooperation was genuine, his special concern was for the unity of Europe. Pius XII was, in his own words, “instinctively drawn” to the “practical realization of European unity” 53 and repeatedly backed the idea of European unity and the political efforts to achieve it. He first called for a “European Union” on 2 June 1948 in the afterglow of the Hague Conference, which was attended by a papal representative.

On Armistice Day of the same year the Pontiff stressed the urgency of the situation: "That the establishment of a European Union presents serious difficulties no one will gainsay. . . . Yet there is no time to lose. If it is intended that this union shall really achieve its purpose, if it is desired to make it serve to advantage the cause of European liberty and concord, the cause of economic and political peace between the continents, it is high time it were established."



It is a pleasure to receive you, gentlemen, and to greet you as the first and, at present, the only duly constituted European parliamentary institution representing different States.**

**Everyone knows with what interest We have followed the attempts at federation which have been going on since the end of World War II…

A whole set of reasons urges the nations of Europe today to federate in an effective way. **

The material and moral ruins caused by the last World War have given a better insight into the futility of narrow nationalistic politics

The countries of Europe which have agreed to the principle of delegating a part of their sovereignty to a supranational organism have embarked, We believe, on a salutary way which can produce, for them and for Europe, a new life in all domains, an enrichment not only economic and cultural but also spiritual and religious.


Apologies, dead link to that Pope Pius XII address. Here it is again:


I’d encourage it to be read in full. He also condemns protectionism:

The movement was launched in the month of May, 1950, in a spirit that was both daring and realistic, and in 1951 a treaty signed by the six countries you represent gave it expression. This treaty became effective on July 25, 1952, and its first economic results were soon felt in a favorable way.

An event such as the meeting of your legislative assembly in Rome, will, We feel sure, create greater public interest in the benefits to be derived from a unity that is broader than that of a nation as understood in the traditional sense. Men will not fail to be struck by the increased production of coal and steel; by the lower prices resulting from the elimination of customs barriers and restrictive measures ; and by the professional readaptation of workers and the free circulation of manpower which, very fortunately, have recently been put into effect.

A vital economic necessity obliges modern states of lesser power to form a close alliance if they wish to pursue the scientific, industrial, and commercial activities which condition their prosperity, their true liberty, and their cultural growth. A whole set of reasons urges the nations of Europe today to federate in an effective way.

The material and moral ruins caused by the last World War have given a better insight into the futility of narrow nationalistic politics. Europe, battered and humbled, feels the need of uniting and of putting an end to worldly rivalries ; she sees territories that were formerly protectorates reach the age of autonomy quickly; she notes that the market of basic goods has passed from a national to an international plane; finally, she senses, and so does the entire world with her, that all men are brothers and are called to work together in assuming responsibility for all the miseries of mankind and in putting an end to the scandal of famine and ignorance.

How can the nations of Europe dare again to confine themselves to a shortsighted protectionism when experience has proven that such measures ultimately stifle economic expansion and diminish the resources that are available for the improvement of the lot of humanity?

Do you reckon he sounds like a Brexiteer?

***“The countries of Europe should delegate a part of their sovereignty to a supranational organism…”

“Narrow nationalistic politics…”

“Unity broader than that of the nation…”

“Shortsighted protectionism…”

“I urge the nations of Europe to federate in an effective way…”

“Lower prices resulting from the elimination of customs barriers and restrictive measures…”

“Free circulation of manpower…”***


Do you foresee any problems meeting those criteria?

For example, I think admission to the EU is contingent on the approval of all current member states. Is it likely any country ([sub]cough[/sub] France) would try to block the UK from re-joining?

I know there are other requirements to be met, as well. But if Malta, which geologically is an splinter of Africa, can be a member of the European Union, then perhaps some requirements are optional


[tongue-in-cheek post, I am not being serious]


I would expect that Euro membership would be required (I think EU members would be very chary about any UK exceptionalism at all) and meeting the convergence criteria might well be a problem.


There has been a total panic among ex pat UK citizens living in EU countries and a rush on passports ie changing citizenship to avoid being deported after Brexit.

We all moved with no residency requirements and also under EU law can avail of social welfare here.

I am British, living in Ireland, and watching what develops. No intention at my advanced age of changing my nationality. As I have said, there is only one "citizenship"I am concerned with now…

We shall see and I have no intention either of going back to the UK…


But is Pius XII’s Europe today’s Europe? It doesn’t really seem so to me.


Pius XII’s Europe was one divided by Stalin’s iron curtain. He watched Soviet troops invade and subdue Hungary, ultimately writing an encyclical against it. The foundation of the EU stemmed from his profound belief in the essential cultural unity of Europe and Europeans in the “womb” of Christendom on the one hand and on the other it formed part of his grand anti-Soviet strategy.

As you will know from Brexit, the epicentre of the EU is the much hallowed “single market” - a market as “free” internally across the continent as can be, with not only all tariffs and customs removed but also all non-tariff barriers to trade through the adoption of uniform regulations. Pius speaks of this above. This is not an accident. The EU was designed as a counterweight on the continent to Russia (Soviet Union) and the Soviet Bloc, an entity designed to showcase the merits of liberal capitalism and intended (or at least hoped) one day to replace the Soviet system and unite all of Europe together.

In promoting this idea of a “European Union,” Pius was looking beyond the dysmal Europe of his day to the one he hoped would come into being in the future, by means of the process of European integration that he “inaugurated” in cooperation with his “disciples” Robert Schumann (French Foreign Minister), Alcide De Gasperi (Italian Prime Minister), Konrad Adenaeur (German Chancellor) and Jean Monnet (French Diplomat) among other political leaders of post-war Europe and all Catholics.

The Europe he envisioned and which he regarded as having already been built in germinal form between 1948-1957, was a post-Communist one characterised by a single, customs-free and tarrif-free economic market in which workers would be able to move around across borders because the nations of the continent would have ultimately ceded sovereignty to a supranational organ he prophetically named, “The European Union”.

Pius wanted European Unity to develop into a Federation, sort of like a more ambitious and subsidiary USA, with an “organ invested with supreme power” like a kind of supranational federal government. This was created by Schumann who became the first President of the “High Authority” of the European Coal and Steel Community. The High Authority was later renamed the European Commission:


The European Commission derives from one of the five key institutions created in the supranational European Community system, following the proposal of Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, on 9 May 1950. Originating in 1951 as the High Authority in the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission has undergone numerous changes in power and composition under various presidents, involving three Communities.[11]

Pius was present at the birth of the EU institutions that still exist today in a far more developed form. The “single market” that we all keep talking about and which is the live issue in Brexit Britain today, started in 1957 and was the occasion for Pius’ above address - namely the 1957 Treaty of Rome that created the European Economic Community (Single Market) and is now known as “the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union”:

So, in other words, the “Europe” Pius was speaking about was not the divided Europe of the 1950s but today’s post-Cold War, post-Fall of the Berlin Wall ‘Europe’.

It is not coincidental that in 1992, 1 year after the Soviet Union collapsed, the EEC was renamed the “EU”. It was the fulfilment of Pius’ vision of a United Europe spanning both East and West and now free of Communism. Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, Romania et al leapt almost immediately from their Soviet bondage into the EU in the 1990s.

That was what had always been hoped by Pius. He would have wept tears of joy at the Revolutions of 1989-1991 and the official commencement of his “European Union” that had been over 40 years in the making through gradual reformation of nascent institutions and pooling of sovereignty.


Of interest, Pope Francis received the Charlemagne Prize for European Unity earlier this year. He referred to the EU Founders in his acceptance speech:




Sala Regia
Friday, 6 May 2016**

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I offer you a cordial welcome and I thank you for your presence. I am particularly grateful to Messrs Marcel Philipp, Jürgen Linden, Martin Schulz, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk for their kind words. I would like to reiterate my intention to offer this prestigious award for Europe. For ours is not so much a celebration as a moment to express our shared hope for a new and courageous step forward for this beloved continent.

Creativity, genius and a capacity for rebirth and renewal are part of the soul of Europe. In the last century, Europe bore witness to humanity that a new beginning was indeed possible. After years of tragic conflicts, culminating in the most horrific war ever known, there emerged, by God’s grace, something completely new in human history. The ashes of the ruins could not extinguish the ardent hope and the quest of solidarity that inspired the founders of the European project. They laid the foundations for a bastion of peace, an edifice made up of states united not by force but by free commitment to the common good and a definitive end to confrontation. Europe, so long divided, finally found its true self and began to build its house…

**To this end, we would do well to turn to the founding fathers of Europe. They were prepared to pursue alternative and innovative paths in a world scarred by war. Not only did they boldly conceive the idea of Europe, but they dared to change radically the models that had led only to violence and destruction. They dared to seek multilateral solutions to increasingly shared problems.

Robert Schuman, at the very birth of the first European community, stated that “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan**. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”.[3] Today, in our own world, marked by so much conflict and suffering, there is a need to return to the same de facto solidarity and concrete generosity that followed the Second World War, because, as Schuman noted, “world peace cannot be safeguarded without making creative efforts proportionate to the dangers threatening it”.[4]

The founding fathers were heralds of peace and prophets of the future. Today more than ever, their vision inspires us to build bridges and tear down walls. That vision urges us not to be content with cosmetic retouches or convoluted compromises aimed at correcting this or that treaty, but courageously to lay new and solid foundations. As Alcide De Gasperi stated, “equally inspired by concern for the common good of our European homeland”, all are called to embark fearlessly on a “construction project that demands our full quota of patience and our ongoing cooperation”.[5]

Such a “memory transfusion” can enable us to draw inspiration from the past in order to confront with courage the complex multipolar framework of our own day and to take up with determination the challenge of “updating” the idea of Europe. A Europe capable of giving birth to a new humanism based on three capacities: the capacity to integrate, the capacity for dialogue and the capacity to generate…

With mind and heart, with hope and without vain nostalgia, like a son who rediscovers in Mother Europe his roots of life and faith, I dream of a new European humanism, one that involves “a constant work of humanization” and calls for “memory, courage, [and] a sound and humane utopian vision”.[10] I dream of a Europe that is young, still capable of being a mother: a mother who has life because she respects life and offers hope for life. I dream of a Europe that cares for children, that offers fraternal help to the poor and those newcomers seeking acceptance because they have lost everything and need shelter. I dream of a Europe that is attentive to and concerned for the infirm and the elderly, lest they be simply set aside as useless. I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime but a summons to greater commitment on behalf of the dignity of every human being. I dream of a Europe where young people breathe the pure air of honesty, where they love the beauty of a culture and a simple life undefiled by the insatiable needs of consumerism, where getting married and having children is a responsibility and a great joy, not a problem due to the lack of stable employment. I dream of a Europe of families, with truly effective policies concentrated on faces rather than numbers, on birth rates more than rates of consumption. I dream of a Europe that promotes and protects the rights of everyone, without neglecting its duties towards all. I dream of a Europe of which it will not be said that its commitment to human rights was its last utopia. Thank you.


Pope Pius XII, and mostly Catholic heads of state, envisioned a European association of free, independent countries that could cooperate in meeting their own goals. They never envisioned a “European Union” government.

There already was a “European Union” in effect before WWII: the USSR, which was a federation of Russia, the Baltic states, Ukraine, and so on. During WWII that European Union expanded by bringing in other Eastern European countries. Pope Pius XII, and Catholic leaders in Western Europe, fought against that European Union, in which growing power of the government replaced the private sector, and the central government replaced governments closer to the people.

The original Common Market from the 1950s promised one thing, and evolved into something totally different. The people who joined it under one set of expectations found themselves captive to a central government with a very definite agenda of its own. The controls are more subtle, more indirect so far, than than controls exerted under the old Soviet Bloc. Their ideology is more sophisticated, harder to define than the old European Union under Stalin. Instead of heavy booted KGB agents, the modern EU uses litigation, manipulates the media and elections, and various economic sanctions to gradually expand its power.

Popes have to be carefully courteous to this new EU powerhouse, because it is powerful. They also have courteous meetings with pro abortion politicians. They have to for the sake of the people. They also tried to be cordial with the former Soviet Bloc leaders, and today, cordial meetings with leaders of other groups and movements they don’t like, but they have to keep communication lines open.


Socialists like the EU because they want to make it like the old USSR. It would be like the USSR without conservative Germany being a leading power.


I doubt Pope Pius XII envisioned a Europe swamped by militant Islam, a totally inadequate birth rate and a militant secularism that barely keeps its head above the Islamic tide.

But getting back to Britain, it’s possible, one guesses, that if Hillary Clinton is elected, she’ll ensure that an independent Britain has no special relationship to look forward to with the U.S. But otherwise, I don’t think any of us can truly predict whether Britain will be better off or worse off independent of the EU, and if the people of Britain didn’t want their future dictated by Brussels, why should we insist that they do so?


It’s the Brexit Hokey-Pokey.

“You put the UK in, you take the UK out, you put the UK in, the EU starts to shout…” :smiley:


You know, that’s the best I’ve yet seen this Brexit farce described :smiley:


Part of the appeal of Brexit if I understand it correctly, was that Britain could get better deals by being outside of the union looking in, as Norway is. That’s what Boris Johnson said, anyway.

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