Jeremy Corbyn pushes 'close' EU relationship as Labour MPs call for stronger stance
The Labour party wants a close post-Brexit relationship with the European Union, Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday - as he came under pressure from Labour MPs to toughen his pro-EU stance.
Addressing the United Nations in Geneva, Mr Corbyn did not comment specifically on the preliminary Brexit deal agreed by the Prime Minister.
“We want to see a close and cooperative relationship with our European neighbours outside the European Union, based on solidarity as well as mutual benefit and fair trade, along with a wider proactive internationalism across the globe,” he said.
“There are some who want to use Brexit to turn Britain in on itself, rejecting the outside world, viewing everyone as a feared competitor.
“Others want to use Brexit to put rocket boosters under our current economic system’s insecurities and inequalities. Turning Britain into a deregulated corporate tax haven, low wages, with limited rights, cut-price public services, in a wholly destructive race to the bottom.”
Some Labour MPs have argued that Mrs May's deal marks the time for the party to take a more explicit position on Britain's future relationship with the single market and customs union.
“Now is the moment for the Labour party to definitively say that we are for a soft Brexit and for staying in the customs union,” one MP told the Guardian. “Theresa May has conceded the principle of regulatory alignment. Rather than spend months wasting time to say what we want, let’s just say it now.”
Pro-remain Nottingham East MP Chris Leslie said: “By promising ‘alignment’ with the proviso ‘should this not be possible the UK will propose specific solutions’, the PM is merely postponing the moment when she breaks this news to the hard Brexiteers.”