‘WE HAVE called for a new customs union, with a say in future trade deals, a strong single market relationship and a guarantee to keep pace with EU rights and standards,’ Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said when outlining his parties Brexit strategy while speaking in Wakefield, in the north of England yesterday.
Despite outlining a plan which bears no difference to the relationship the UK has with the EU now, he claimed: ‘The alternative Labour has proposed is radical, practical and achievable and clearly has the potential to command majority support in parliament. But, it is not an end in itself, the task of the Labour Party and the Labour movement is the long overdue transformation of our country.’
Attempting to ride two horses at once he added: ‘It will bring people together by addressing the deep seated common problems across our country, and fulfiling the aspirations that led people to vote Leave and Remain.’
He said: ‘The Conservatives are never going to tackle the burning injustices in our country or act to overcome the deep and growing inequalities. They are incapable of leading us out of a crisis that they have created.
‘Britain deserves a government that can govern. The need for a government with a clear purpose and direction for the country could not be more urgent. A general election is the right answer and the best way to break the deadlock. Labour is ready to bring Leave and Remain voters together to rebuild Britain for the many not the few, thank you.’
He was then asked what Labour would do if they win a general election? He replied: ‘Negotiation around a customs union, around protection of rights at work, consumers and environment and not allowing our workers rights standards to fall below those of Europe. To negotiate diligently with the EU as and when we take office.’
Although saying Labour would ‘negotiate’, he stopped short of saying that Labour would see Brexit through. He was then asked about whether he and Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer have a different view on whether Article 50 could be extended.
Corbyn said: ‘No, there is no split on this. Keir and I are here together today. He made it clear that the practicalities of negotiating would mean that an extension of Article 50 would be a possibility.’
Later he was asked, if he cannot get a general election, what would Labour do then?
Corbyn said: ‘We will move a motion of no confidence in the government at a time of our choosing when we judge the best chance of success in doing that, because we do not have confidence in this government and we honestly believe that the best way forward is a general election.
‘Everyone in this country would say that this is a government that didn’t win a majority in the general election anyway, cannot command a majority in the House of Commons, brings very little legislation because it can’t get it through.
‘This political chaos cannot go on, the only way forward, the only way out of it would be a general election where the people could decide. If Labour cannot get a general election,’ Corbyn said, ‘all options remain on the table including a people’s vote.’