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David Davis accuses Jeremy Corbyn of ‘selling snake oil’ over Brexit stance

Liz Bates

2 min read

David Davis has accused Jeremy Corbyn of “selling snake oil” after Labour pledged support for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU. 


The Labour leader is set to lay out his Brexit vision in a major speech today, in which he is expected to commit to maintaining some form of the arrangement which governs import tariffs.

It follows the declaration by shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer yesterday that the Labour top team “unanimously” backs striking a new customs union with the EU that closely mirrors the existing system.

The move has piled pressure on the Government, with an amendment on the issue – tabled by pro-EU Tory Anna Soubry – threatening to inflict another humiliating Commons defeat on Theresa May.

But the Brexit Secretary has blasted the intervention, accusing Mr Corbyn of betraying his supporters.

In an article for the Telegraph, he wrote: "Labour may think they have stumbled across a simple solution to Brexit, but there is a lesson they are yet to learn: if it looks like snake oil, and it smells like snake oil, don’t expect it to make you feel better."

Mr Davis said Labour’s position was "deeply unattractive" and would represent a "disaster" for Britain's trade policy. 

He also argued it would break two key Labour manifesto pledges to strike free trade deals around the world and to project jobs and industries.

And he said: "This Conservative Government understands that the Brexit vote was a call for greater control over the policies which determine people’s lives. Labour seem intent on giving that up."

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Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum

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