In recent weeks – without being noticed by the “mainstream media” who axed industrial correspondents years ago – both the GMB and Unison have come out in favour of the UK staying in the single market. This coming week Unite will, almost certainly, do the same at it’s conference in Brighton.
In fact the real battle at Unite may well be between the union’s leadership and advocates, from the automotive industry in particular, of a “People’s Vote” – with two of the four draft composites going before the union’s conference backing just such a referendum.
The composite with the most support does not support a People’s Vote but does say: “To preserve our members’ jobs, Unite must campaign for the UK’s continued participation in and access to the European single market and a customs union.”
The only way of saving face for Corbyn appears to be a suggestion that the union’s executive council might yet issue a bland policy statement backing Corbyn’s fudged policy. But the signs are increasingly that the unions have had enough of Brexit and their enthusiasm for Corbyn’s attempt to triangulate the issue may also be waning.