Corbyn urged to shift on single market membership

PUBLISHED: 16:18 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 01 February 2018

Jeremy Corbyn

$image.copyright

Jeremy Corbyn has come under renewed pressure to commit Labour to remaining in the single market and customs union after Brexit.

The Labour leader said he wanted to ensure that British firms and universities continued to have "close relationships" with the European Union.

Labour wants a "tariff-free trade relationship" and "a form of customs union", Mr Corbyn said.

But he was urged to go further and put "clear red water" between his position and prime minister Theresa May's by backing the UK staying in both the single market and customs union.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna said the party's supporters could not understand why its official position "continues to cling so closely to that of the Conservative government".

A commitment to stay in the single market and customs union, which would see only minor post-Brexit change and would maintain free movement of people, could risk alienating Leave-backing voters in some of the party's heartlands.

Instead the Labour leader said: "What we plan is a tariff-free trade relationship with Europe, a form of customs union, and a trade relationship that guarantees our manufacturing industry and our service industries can continue to trade with Europe and they can continue to trade with us.

"Every major company has very close relationships with Europe. Every university has close relationships with Europe.

"We intend to maintain those relationships and ensure that they are part of our negotiations.

"And that is the case that we have put all the way through the debate in Parliament and we will continue to do so."

Streatham MP Mr Umunna, a leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said: "The overwhelming majority of Labour members and voters want the party to speak out clearly and unambiguously against the government's plans for a hard and destructive Brexit.

"Labour supporters cannot understand why the party's official position on Brexit continues to cling so closely to that of the Conservative government.

"For the sake of jobs, prosperity and investment, for strong public services, and for opportunities for the next generation, Labour needs to put clear red water between the party's position and that of the Conservatives and back British membership of the single market and the customs union."

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy