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JEREMY CORBYN said today that he can “fully understand” why working-class areas voted to leave the European Union, as he outlined his party’s Brexit plans.
The Labour leader was meeting people in the East Midlands, including the constituencies of North East Derbyshire, Bolsover and Ashfield — all of which all voted overwhelmingly for EU withdrawal.
He said that, although he had campaigned for “Remain and reform” in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, he understood what had prompted large numbers of working-class people nationwide to vote Leave.
Mr Corbyn said: “Why would anyone who hasn’t had a pay rise in 10 years, can’t get a proper bus service in the evening or worries about sending their kids to university because of years of crunching debt listen to politicians saying nothing really needs to change?”
Outlining Labour’s vision for EU withdrawal, Mr Corbyn said that his party offers an “alternative plan” that encourages job growth, social and employment rights.
He also emphasised the need to avoid a hard border in the north of Ireland, as well as a new relationship with the EU single market and a newly configured customs union.
“The Tories aren’t going to use Brexit to rebuild Britain,” he warned.
“They want to use it to slash rights and protections and turbocharge their bankers-first market free for all.”
Mr Corbyn said that Labour “will not support a deal cobbled together by a divided and chaotic Tory government if it’s going to make life tougher for millions of people.
“But, even more importantly, Labour in government has a plan for a post-Brexit Britain where we use the powers available to kick-start the economy and rebuild our industry, infrastructure and public services in all regions and nations of the UK.”
He also attended a local anti-fracking meeting in Eckington, North Derbyshire, where he congratulated residents on their commitment and determination to “support their local community and oppose fracking.”
Usdaw Tesco rep Cameron Mitchell said: “I think what Jeremy is saying today is spot on.
“Thousands of our young Labour voters here also voted to leave the EU, and that mustn’t be forgotten in London’s corridors of power.
“Young workers want a better future across the country and Labour are the only party capable of delivering.”
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