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EU Withdrawal Corbyn: We can define our future beyond the EU

Labour to seek market access but on terms that allow its radical manifesto to be realised

LEAVING the European Union does not spell doom for Britain, with funds “returned from Brussels” potentially being invested in public services and jobs, Jeremy Corbyn will say today.

In a major speech in Coventry to cement Labour’s vision for Brexit, he will argue that the EU is neither the saviour nor source of Britain’s problems.

The future of the country after it enters the two-year transition period in March next year is “what we make of it together,” he is expected to say.

Referring to Vote Leave’s lampooned “£350 million a week, lets fund our NHS instead” claim infamously emblazoned on its battle bus, he will add: “We’ll give the NHS resources it needs, as we will raise tax on those with the broadest shoulders to pay for it not by making up numbers.”

He will say Britain needs to negotiate a bespoke relationship with the EU, similar to those of states such as Turkey, Switzerland or Norway.

Labour would seek an advantageous new, strong relationship in accordance with single market rules, he will add, as well as protections, clarifications or exemptions where necessary so that the party in government can deliver on its “ambitious economic programme.”

This would include stopping mass privatisation and outsourcing, renationalisation of services, investing in infrastructure and breaking away from the EU posted workers directive which allows bosses to import cheap agency labour from abroad to undercut existing pay and conditions.

Mr Corbyn will say: “The European Union is not the root of all our problems and leaving it will not solve all our problems.

“Likewise, the EU is not the source of all enlightenment and leaving it does not inevitably spell doom for our country.

“There will be some who will tell you that Brexit is a disaster for this country and some who will tell you that Brexit will create a land of milk and honey. The truth is more down to earth and it’s in our hands. Brexit is what we make of it together.”

He added that Labour’s priority, having already pushed the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in Britain, is to reject any race to the bottom in workers’ rights, environmental safeguards, consumer protections, or food safety standards.

PM Theresa May risks being ousted and a general election being triggered over Brexit after Labour signalled it will unite with Tory rebels to defeat her in the Commons.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer suggested yesterday that he will back a key amendment to keep Britain in a customs union after 2020.

If Ms May made the vote a “confidence” issue and then loses, a general election could be held.

Mr Starmer told the BBC: “To put it bluntly, crunch time is coming for the Prime Minister.”

More than 80 prominent Labour members signed a letter urging the shadow cabinet to back remaining in the European Economic Area “as a minimum” after Brexit.


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