Owen Jones: Labour has a real Brexit alternative. Now it must get the message to voters | Owen Jones

The party will ensure that workers, consumers and the environment are protected. There will be no blank cheque for a reckless Tory Brexit

Labour will rip up Theresa May’s Brexit plan but respect the referendum result. The benefits of the single market and the customs union will be on the table. EU nationals will be protected from day one. Human beings won’t be bargaining chips. The great repeal bill will be scrapped; Labour will introduce a EU rights and protections bill instead. All workers’, consumers’ and environmental rights will be protected. Much of the country craves unity: Labour will offer it. A “Brexit that brings people together,” not a “reckless Tory Brexit”. MPs will get a final say. If they reject the deal, Labour will return to the negotiating table.

These are Labour’s key lines on Brexit, unveiled today by Keir Starmer. They now have to be repeated ad infinitum: preferably in a pithier, snappier form than above. What the Tories get – particularly under the ruthlessly effective Lynton Crosby – is message discipline. If you want a message to cut through, you have to repeat it, over and over and over and over again, until your opponents are pleading with you to shut up. If you don’t define yourself, you’ll be defined by your opposition. We all know Tory lines off by heart – clearing up Labour’s mess, long-term economic plan, that kind of thing – as do voters, who often repeat them verbatim on the doorstep. The Tories clearly define both themselves and their opposition.

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