The Atlantic

Jeremy Corbyn’s Britain Would Reshape Western Alliances

The Labour Party leader could be the country’s next prime minister, and could well redefine its role in the world.
Source: Klara Auerbach / The Atlantic

BRIGHTON, England—Things are not all right here in Britain. Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservatives have lost their majority, and with it their ability to govern; Parliament has been suspended; and the country is weeks away from crashing out of the European Union, its closest neighbor and largest trading partner, without a withdrawal deal.

In normal times, this moment would present a prime opportunity for a united and organized opposition to step in. But these are not normal times, and there is no such opposition party waiting in the wings. Instead, there is the Labour Party—and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

“Our movement is strong; our movement is vibrant,” Corbyn told hundreds of party faithful at an opening rally of Labour’s annual conference in this English coastal town over the weekend. The Labour leader pledged to lead the party into an election “against a prime minister who wants to take us over the cliff, out of the EU and into the arms of Donald Trump.”

“I’m not having any of that,” he said amidst roaring cheers. “You’re not having any of that.”

If ever an opposition was needed in Britain, it’s now. Still, voters remain of the Labour leader, and what his elevation to the country’s highest political office could mean for its future. Corbyn is the most left-wing leader the Labour Party has seen in decades, and his plans for the country, if elected, are equally as radical: The 70-year-old has pledged to oversee a revolution of the British economy, complete with the nationalization of public services such as intercity rail, water, and mail delivery, as well as the reversal of a decade of painful public-spending cuts imposed following the 2008 financial crisis. The that this program would cost hundreds of billions of pounds, and constitute “a fundamental redistribution of income

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