Jeremy Corbyn: Theresa May's attempt to divide the UK over Brexit shows she does not love her country

Posted On: 
23rd February 2017

Jeremy Corbyn will today accuse Theresa May of trying to divide the UK over Brexit and suggest that she does not really love her country.

Jeremy Corbyn will address Labour's 'Road to Brexit' conference today
PA Images

In an outspoken attack, the Labour leader will say the Prime Minister's government "has wrapped Brexit up in fake patriotic posturing" in an attempt to pacify senior Brexiteers like David Davis and Boris Johnson.

He will also accuse Mrs May of using every British person as a “Tory bargaining chip” for threatening to slash tax rates if EU leaders refuse to offer a favourable Brexit deal.

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Mr Corbyn will hit out at his Conservative rival in a major speech at Labour’s ‘Road to Brexit' conference’ in London.

He will say: "Theresa May’s government has wrapped Brexit up in fake patriotic posturing, waving the Union Jack while preparing to sell out our public services and consumer protections to US corporations, cheered on by the corporate media, who pile up their wealth in overseas tax havens while posing as national champions and fostering division both at home and abroad.

"Let me be clear, those who actually love their country would never seek to divide it.

"Theresa May has dangled the threat of turning Britain into a bargain basement tax haven if the European Union doesn’t play ball.

"But slashing taxes still further for big business, and cutting essential regulation in jobs, the environment, consumer protection, as a magnet for north American corporate giants - that’s not just a threat and a danger to the European Union, it’s a threat and a danger to the British people, effectively turning all of us into a Tory bargaining chip."

"Far from taking back control, that would mean an assault on our public services, our standard of living and our quality of life.

"That is not what the majority of our people want. But it is the clearly stated agenda of senior members of the Conservative government, who made clear both during and since the referendum campaign that is exactly the fantasy free market never-never land they want out of Brexit.”

Elsewhere Mr Corbyn will demand a unilateral guarantee from the Prime Minister that EU nationals currently in the UK will be allowed to stay once Britain leaves the EU.

"The rights of EU nationals living and working in Britain must be guaranteed now – just as the rights of UK nationals must be protected across the rest of the EU," he will say.

"It is a scandal that our government is trying to use citizens of the EU, who have made their homes in Britain, as a bargaining chip. I understand the fear in many communities since the Brexit vote. Many EU nationals feel isolated and believe they are no longer welcome in the country they have come to call home.

"I want to send a clear message to all those people who have already given so much to British society: you are welcome here, Labour will fight for your rights, we will stand up to intolerance, and we will do everything we can to represent and defend you."