Labour MP Wes Streeting calls on Jeremy Corbyn to commit Labour to remaining in the single market and customs union
Rebel Labour MP Wes Streeting will today call on Jeremy Corbyn to firm the party’s stance on Europe and commit to staying in both the single market and customs union.
Mr Streeting – and a number of other backbenchers – argues that Labour’s failure to commit to remaining in both single market and customs union is now the biggest impediment to a Parliamentary majority on the issue.
In a speech to the Fabian Society’s annual conference in London today, Streeting will say: “On the UK’s future relationship with the European Union – the single biggest issue facing our country in a generation – we find ourselves in the terrible position where it is the Labour party that currently stands as the single biggest barrier to the UK’s membership of the single market and customs union.
“With Labour, there would be a majority in the Commons for single market membership, but not without us. If the Labour party announced tomorrow that we would keep Britain in the single market and customs union, it would be a game-changing moment in British politics. The policy would command a majority in the Commons and a majority in the country.”
Labour has not announced what deal it would accept post-Brexit, only committing to single market and customs union membership during transition.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has said permanent customs union membership is a “viable” option.
The party’s policy of a “job-first Brexit” has thus far appeared to maintain the support of both its leave and remain voters. Streeting will say: “The fudge that got us through the general election won’t get us through 2018.”