Jeremy Corbyn: Brexit will stop cheap foreign labour undercutting British workers’ pay

Posted On: 
9th March 2018

Jeremy Corbyn has said Brexit will put a stop to firms “importing cheap labour” to undercut the wages of UK workers.

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee.
PA Images

The Labour leader said the Government “cannot be held back” by EU membership from challenging the rules of the free market.

But his remarks drew criticism from SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who accused him of appropriating the language of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

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And Labour MEP Catherine Stihler said Labour should “challenge anti-immigrant sentiment”.

Addressing the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee, Mr Corbyn said Britain needed a Labour government with "common sense" policies as it leaves the EU.

He said: "We cannot be held back inside or outside the EU from taking the steps we need to develop and invest in cutting edge industries and local business stop the tide of privatisation and outsourcing, or from preventing employers being able to import cheap agency labour to undercut existing pay and conditions in the name of free market orthodoxy."

Mr Corbyn also accused Theresa May of planning to "tie the UK permanently to EU rules, which are used to drive privatisation and block support for British industry". 

Elsewhere in his speech, the Labour leader insisted last year's general election - when the party defied the odds to gain six seats in Scotland - showed it was "alive and kicking" north of the Border.

But it was his comments on immigration which drew criticism from his political opponents..

Catherine Stihler, co-chair of Scottish Labour for the single market, said: "While some voters are angry about immigration, it is the job of the Labour party to challenge anti-immigrant sentiment and promote the benefits to our economy and public services.

"There is no left-wing case for leaving the single market."