Thu, 18 August 2022

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By Nikki da Costa
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Jeremy Corbyn: Boris Johnson wants Brexit to deliver 'Thatcherism on steroids'

Jeremy Corbyn: Boris Johnson wants Brexit to deliver 'Thatcherism on steroids'
3 min read

Boris Johnson wants to deliver Brexit so he can "unleash Thatcherism on steroids", according to Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader will use a major speech to claim that the Tories plan to sell off the NHS, slash workers' rights, reduce food standards and water down environmental protections after the UK leaves the EU.

He will claim that the moves are necessary in order to agree a free trade deal with Donald Trump's White House.

Mr Corbyn will also pledge that a Labour government would "get Brexit sorted" within six months of being elected by holding a second referendum with Remain on the ballot paper.

Speaking at an election campaign rally in Harlow, Essex, the Labour boss will say the Prime Minister "is trying to hijack Brexit to sell out our NHS and working people by stripping away their rights".

"Given the chance, they’ll run down our rights at work our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave," Mr Corbyn will say.

"Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where 'acceptable levels' of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.

"And given the chance, they’ll water down the rules on air pollution and our environment that keep us safe.

"They want a race to the bottom in standards and protections. They want to move us towards a more deregulated American model of how to run the economy.

"In the US, workers get just 10 days holiday a year, big business gets free rein to call the shots and tens of millions are denied healthcare.

"What Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want is to hijack Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids.

"Margaret Thatcher’s attack on the working people of our country left scars that have never healed and communities that have never recovered. The Conservatives know they can’t win support for what they’re planning to do in the name of Thatcherism. So they’re trying to do it under the banner of Brexit instead."

Mr Corbyn will say that by contrast, a Labour government would negotiate a "sensible" Brexit deal which would maintain close economic and regulatory ties with the EU, which would then be put up against Remain in a new referendum.

"So if you want to leave the EU without trashing our economy or selling out our NHS you’ll be able to vote for it," he will say. "If you want to remain in the EU, you’ll be able to vote for that. Either way, only a Labour government will put the final decision in your hands.

"And we will immediately carry out your decision so Britain can get beyond Brexit."


Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has demanded Mr Corbyn "come clean" about his Brexit plans ahead of the general election.

The Labour leader has said he would renegotiate the current deal within three months, with a fresh referendum on it three months later.

But in a letter to his rival, the Prime Minister said that "will result in years' more expensive delay and will prolong the divisions in our society".

He said: "I am clear about my Brexit policy  and how we will help this country move on – it is time for the Labour Party to be clear too. We cannot afford to spend 2020 fighting two more referendums offering the public more of the same confusion and indecision that have plagued the last three years."

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