A Corbyn Victory Would Kill Brexit, Lead to Venezuelan-Style Socialism, Says E.U. Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan

The Brexit architect explains what the media got wrong about Brexit, the rise of "Bannonism and Bernie-ism," and what went wrong in Venezuela.


A leading architect of Brexit is warning that the selection of Jeremy Corbyn as British prime minister could lead his country into a Venezuelan-style descent into authoritarian neo-socialism.

Tomorrow's U.K. election pits the ruling Conservative Party, led by current prime minister Boris Johnson, against the Labour Party, led by Corbyn, who has called for large tax hikes, new regulations and controls on business, and massive increases on spending.

"I don't think it's a figure of speech" to suggest Corbyn's rise to power could lead to the economic and civic decline of England, says Daniel Hannan, a Conservative politician who represents Britain in the European Union's parliament. He's one of the leading architects of Brexit and the author of books such as The New Road To Serfdom and Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.

"When I was growing up in Peru," says the 48-year-old Hannon, who was born in Lima, "Venezuela was a country that people immigrated to…the idea that it couldn't happen here, which is [a] dangerously complacent and recurrent theme in both British and American politics, I just don't think is borne out."

In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Hannan explains why British libertarians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Brexit, the urgency of honoring the results of the 2016 referendum in which 52 percent of voters called for leave, and the global rise of "Bannonism and Bernie-ism," or right-wing and left-wing populism.

For a video version of this interview, go here.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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  1. Corbyn longs for the days of Britain in the 1970’s. And he’ll give it to them good and hard.

    1. Not sure kids these days, or even old people, remember what 1970s England was like. Trash piling up in the streets because the garbage union was on strike. Once proud automobiles like the Jaguar and Rolls became junk trash because they were nationalized. Unions were dictating policy and strikes on essential services (not just garbage) was routine. Standards of living had not risen significantly since the 50s. Taxes were so high (90% rates) that a talent drain through emigration became a real problem.

      1. Yeah, but that was only because the Tories wouldn’t let Labour spend even more of the taxpayers’ money. Don’t you know that spending the taxpayers’ money is the ultimate solution to everything?

      2. Had the 1970s been a thriving decade for the U.K., we never would have had the Sex Pistols or The Clash, so it wasn’t all bad

    2. 5 piece Genesis made good music as a result. Floyd too. Yes too.

    3. When Corbyn was a young man
      He played the Internationale
      From Manchester to Hartlepool
      He firebombed them all
      But we ain’t seen nothing like him
      In any union hall
      That anti-Semitic swampy
      Sure plays a mean Internationale!

    4. That asshole’s life ambition was to surrender the UK to the Soviets, and when that didn’t pan out, he devoted himself to fellating terrorists and hating Jews.

      Maybe after tonights defeat, the Labour party will borrow a clue and kick him to the curb.


  2. “I don’t think it’s a figure of speech” to suggest Corbyn’s rise to power could lead to the economic and civic decline of England, says Daniel Hannan is a Conservative politician who represents Britain in the European Union’s parliament.

    The Reason staff need an edit button too.

    1. “A leading architect of Brexit is warning that the selection of Jeremy Corbyn as British prime minister could plunge his country into could lead to a Venezuelan-style descent into authoritarian neo-socialism.”


  3. Brexit is not a good thing
    Everyone will lose

    1. The people who wish to impose immigration, environmental, and other forms of regulation on the people of the UK over their objections and against their will will lose, but they will still be able to push for their preferred policies even after Brexit. They’ll just need to rely on persuading the people who disagree with them rather than using the coercive power of government and showing the desires of average people nothing but contempt.

      It should also be noted that it isn’t clear that the EU will always be more liberal than the UK wants their policies to be. In France, Germany, and Italy, right wing parties are all ascendant–and it’s a reaction to the very elitism that the UK is trying to escape with Brexit. Ten years from now, the EU could be much further to the right than UK with right wing, anti-elitists parties running things in all three countries.

      Let the elitists hang themselves. The left need to make their way back to liberal democracy.

      1. Apparently, posting links gets your comment in moderation hell.

        Reproducing without the links:

        There is an interesting argument that post-Brexit UK would be even worse for liberty, because the EU ends up preventing certain kinds of nationalizations etc. I don’t know that I buy it, but interesting nonetheless. This is from the Cato Unbound series titled “After Brexit,” from the writer who is contributing on the side of “Brexit is bad for liberty.”

        For decades the EU has acted as a check on that kind of state overreach: stopping the Scottish government from establishing a prohibitionist price floor on alcohol, forcing member states to open up state-dominated markets to private competition, and barring European states from subsidizing or otherwise protecting their native industries from foreign rivals. These policies were part of what helped the British economy to return to health in the 1980s, complementing and supporting Margaret Thatcher’s reform programme. The system is flawed – I have been a vocal critic of bad EU rulings over Google and antitrust – but it has proved better than the alternative.

        1. More than one link per post = moderation hell.

        2. Merkel is being forced from power because an anti-immigrant party is eating her lunch. Their equivalent of the Democrats formed a government with their equivalent of her Republicans for fear that the anti-immigrant party would completely take power if they didn’t.

          Imagine if Nancy Pelosi decided that the the people who were about to replace Trump was so bad, she decided to join forces with the Republicans. Every state election, Merkel just keeps looking weaker and weaker. Her political career is over.

          In France, it isn’t just that the Socialist Party is so completely over that they couldn’t even get someone on the final ballot. It isn’t just that the Yellow Jacket movements could spring up again at any moment. It’s also that Marine Le Pen keeps making more and more ground. She’s drawing support left and right–and its completely tilted the expectations for future elections.

          In Italy, they have two anti-immigrant parties. One “moderate” anti-immigrant party that you might think of as populist, and the other one that’s full fledged extreme right wing. The anti-immigrants were sure they would win the popular vote outright if only they could force a vote. All the other parties were so scared of the anti-immigrants women, like in Germany, they threw themselves together for the sole cause of not having an election–because the extreme right wing would win.

          The point here is that just because European politics have been driven by left of center politicians since the end of the Cold War doesn’t mean that will always be the case in the future. They have far more support among average people for anti-immigrant parties than we do here in the USA. Much of that has to do with the same issues that are driving the UK to Brexit. If the UK couldn’t exit this stuff, then all that energy would go towards anti-immigrant parties like it has in France, Germany, and Italy.

          Meanwhile, the trend among the voters has not been support for liberals and leftist ideas on things like immigration–quite the opposite. If present trends continue, the government of the EU will be dominated by anti-immigrant parties more and more, and if the UK is allowed to exit and set their own immigration polices–regardless of what’s happening in the EU–chances are that they’ll be a lot less harsh than the EU would be if it were dominated by anti-immigrant parties, which is the way things keep trending and have been for some time.

      2. Wow, maybe research your opinion of elitist. It isn’t the left, but no surprise with who is posting.

    2. The EU is the Forth Reich.
      Brexit is wonderful.

    3. The only thing people will lose is the boot on their necks.

    4. The EU was a good thing when it started out as a free trade bloc. When it turned into a federal government, it became evil and harmful.

  4. I forget, is it Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn that’s literally Hitler? I know one of them is pretty damn anti-semitic and the other’s anti-semiotic but I forget which is which and which we’re supposed to be concerned with.

    1. Corbyn hates Jews and isn’t shy about the fact.

    2. I believe it’s Donald Trump.

  5. The other things about Brexit is that once Brexit is done, the people of the UK will be able to set their policies to be more or less exactly what the EU has if they like.

    The central question of Brexit is whether the people of the UK should be free to set polices for themselves without a veto from the rest of the EU–what those policies should be is still open to debate.

    A lot of elitists are conflating populism with democracy, but they’re not the same thing. Populism–of every flavor–is a reaction to elitism. Elitism, in this case, is the bureaucrats and politicians of the EU inflicting policy on the people of the UK–regardless of their opinion.

    You can be left of Corbyn on any issue and still think the people of the UK should be the ultimate arbiters of public policy–and that doesn’t make anyone a populist. It means they believe that democracy has a proper purview and it should be overruled by politicians in the EU.

    1. See Reason Contributor: Brendan O’Neill.

    2. >>The central question of Brexit is …

      bewilders me the central question is even a question in 2019 …

      1. It’s the same thing driving elitism in the U.S.!

        Barack Obama signed us onto the Paris Climate treaty without even consulting the Senate. What should we have expected from that if not populism? Whether I agree with that policy or disagree with it, the fact is that the president has no business signing an international treaty like that. Treaty ratification requires two-thirds of the Senate. If he does commit us to something like that, expect us to elect a populist president as a reaction to that kind of elitism–contempt for the opinions of average people. Even the progressives in the U.S. show absolute contempt for the opinions of the American people that way.

        Barack Obama inflicted DACA on the American people–specifically because Congress voted down legislation to protect the Dreamers. Whether I agree with that policy or not is beside the point that stetting the rules of naturalization is a enumerated power of Congress, making it subject to democracy, rather than executive orders, which is exactly as it should be. What should we have expected to see in the aftermath of that if not a populist reaction like we had in 2016?

        Democracy, in its proper purview, is the alternative to populism–cross culturally and throughout history. People who think that problem will go away if only Trump is thrown out of office or Brexit fails are missing the big picture.

        1. >>>if not a populist reaction like we had in 2016?

          to see it happen w/T makes me smile every day.

          >>>missing the big picture

          the willfully ones are who bewilder me … feel free to be borg lol

          1. They are absolutely confounded by the suggestion that should be expected to stoop to level of persuading their fellow Americans of anything.

            They already tried calling them stupid xenophobic, racist homophobes. If that didn’t persuade them, then what else can they possibly be expected to do?

  6. . . . could plunge his country into could lead to a Venezuelan-style descent

    Go home Nick. You’re drunk.

    1. perfect time for scooter ride w/Suave

      1. …and the Yorkies?

  7. Real Venezuelan-style socialism has never been tried!

    1. It would be different if Bernie Sanders were in charge–because he cares about people.

      1. It would look like Woody Allen in Bananas. But not as funny.

        1. The new language is now . . . Swedish. SILENCE! Everyone under sixteen years old is now . . . sixteen years old. Everyone will be required to change their underwear every fifteen minutes. Underwear must be worn on the outside so we can check.

  8. ” . . . prime minister could plunge his country into could lead to a Venezuelan-style . . . ”

    Did Reason fail to get enough tax subsidized ‘contributions’ to keep paying an editor?

    1. All those Associate Editors and this is what we get.

  9. Corbyn, as everyone in the UK knows, supports Brexit because he considers the EU a pro-capitalist organization run by big business. Corbyn cannot succeed in his dream of taking the UK back to 1970s pre- Maggie Socialism until the UK has left the dreaded EU with its socialist hating Poles, right wing eastern Germans and newly free market Swedes. Then the UK will start its own union of european socialist republics.

    Is Hannan unaware of this or is it just inconvenient to explain why so many UK libertarians are fellow travelers with an avowed socialist?

    1. Let the Brits have Corbyn
      Let us yanks have Bernie or Warren
      Right now, things are too damn boring

        1. What’s boring is the retarded tribalism, if we were all getting it good and hard, maybe we would all realize the benefits of limited government

  10. “A Corbyn Victory Would Kill Brexit, Lead to Venezuelan-Style Socialism, Says EU Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan.”

    Then we all know what must be done.
    Comrade Corbyn must be elected. It is the only way the Brits will stay on the comfortable, luxurious and safe EU plantation. Wandering off this wonderful economic gulag will only result in the painful and catastrophic independence no sane person wants or needs. The EU needs more useful idiots to pay for needless, expensive and useless bureaucracies and bureaucrats. Oppressing people is not a cheap endeavor, and the working class Brits have more money than they need. They have spent too much of their ill-gotten gains on such luxuries as vacations, cars, clothing, food, shelter, etc.
    Plus, the masses of GB really don’t know what’s really good for them. Just look how much time they spend on soccer, watching the TV, going to movies, relaxing, etc. when their time would be much better spent on memorizing the sage wisdom of Marx, Engles, Lenin, Stalin, Che and Mao. Comrade Corbyn is the one that will turn that island into a socialist paradise in no time, and hopefully the British population will recognize this truth sooner than later.

  11. Whelp from the looks of the exit polls it’s Brexit all the way with the Conservatives winning a large majority.

    Or in lefty speak “the working class voted against their interests”, especially the interests of having lots of cheap migrant workers pricing them into poverty and overcrowding their “wonderful” NHS. But that is OK because it meant that their natural elite superiors could have holiday homes in Tuscany.

  12. The British took care of the Corbyn threat very well yesterday.

  13. What’s boring is the retarded tribalism, if we were all getting it good and hard, maybe we would all realize the benefits of limited government
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