In normal times, a demandfrom the leader of the opposition that an incompetent Prime Minister, patently making very little progress in managing her own party on the major issue of the day, let alone managing relations with people outside both the party and the country, would cause many people to conclude, “Well, he couldn’t do much worse, could he?”. Not doing worse is hardly a compliment to anyone’s ability, of course, and it isn’t the same as ‘doing better’.
But these are not normal times. When the leader of the opposition shares the same red lines as the Prime Minister, and seems to be essentially demanding the same thing – a unique customs relationship where the rules applying to other members don’t apply to the UK, and access to the EU single market on the same terms as members but without following the same rules – and where he would face the same problem of keeping his own party on side with whatever he says, there is little left to distinguish between the two. Perhaps he’d be a better negotiator, but I’m sure that I’m not alone in wondering on what basis anyone would believe that Corbyn’s negotiating skills are going to be superior to those being deployed at the moment; there seems no obvious reason to believe that they would be.
None of that invalidates the, “he couldn’t do any worse” argument however; if only because it’s difficult to imagine how anyone could.