Corbyn woos CBI bosses

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Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a Refugees Welcome rally in 2015, when he became Labour leader

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn began his speech to the CBI yesterday by declaring his loyalty and enthusiasm for business.

He said: ‘And if a Labour government is elected on 12th December you’re going to see more investment than you ever dreamed of.

‘You’re going to have the best educated workforce you’ve ever hoped for. You’re going to get the world-leading infrastructure, including full-fibre broadband you’ve long demanded.

‘You’re going to enjoy the fast, reliable transport links you’ve always wanted.’

Stressing his ‘Remain’ convictions he added: ‘You’re going to have the certainty of a customs union and access to the single market, as you’ve long advocated.

‘You and your business have so much to gain from a Labour government. Small businesses will see late payments tackled, whether those late payers are larger companies or government …’

He added: ‘And yes, let’s be frank, Labour will ask those at the top to pay their fair share in tax. We will put an end to the tax tricks that allow the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations to avoid paying their way. And we will bring some key services into public ownership. I make no apology for that.’

He described his policy: ‘It’s taking the essential steps to build a genuinely mixed economy for the 21st century. Even the City Editor of the Financial Times called the privatisation of water an “organised rip off”.’

He added, proposing a partnership, ‘and you have set out three great challenges for the next government. First, ensuring every young person has the skills they need. Second, reducing the blight of inequality. And Third, tackling the climate and environmental emergency.

‘On the importance of all three, we’re in agreement. All three are central to Labour’s plan to rebuild and transform Britain. And I’m pleased that the CBI has made it clear that to meet those challenges we need change. And you have said that the CBI is ready to play its part.

‘That’s music to my ears because, despite the impression sometimes given in parts of the press, Labour doesn’t believe the state can do that alone. But nor do we think the state can sit back and leave it to the market either.’

Extolling corporatism he proceeded: ‘In government we’ll set up a Sustainable Investment Board – involving the Chancellor, Business Secretary and Bank of England Governor, and there’ll also be seats for businesses and trade unions. A Labour government will work closely with business because it’s in our common interest to build the high-skill, green economy of the future.’