Jeremy Corbyn calls for ‘new, strong’ single market relationship
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to lay out his vision for post-Brexit EU relations on Monday, including negotiating a “new, strong relationship” with single market rules and certain exemptions.
“Britain will need a bespoke relationship of its own,” Corbyn will say in a speech, according to excerpts released to journalists ahead of time. “Labour would negotiate a new and strong relationship with the single market that includes full tariff-free access and a floor under existing rights, standards and protections.”
The Labour leader will also indicate his party would seek opt-outs from the single market to allow the U.K. to subsidise some industries and nationalize others.
“We would also seek to negotiate protections, clarifications or exemptions, where necessary, in relation to privatization and public service competition directives, state aid and procurement rules and the Posted Workers Directive,” Corbyn will say. “We cannot be held back, inside or outside the EU, from taking the steps we need to support cutting edge industries and local business, stop the tide of privatization and outsourcing or prevent employers being able to import cheap agency labor from abroad to undercut existing pay and conditions.”
Corbyn had faced pressure from within his party to declare that the U.K. should stay in the EU single market.
“The European Union is not the root of all our problems and leaving it will not solve all our problems,” Corbyn will say on Monday. “Likewise, the EU is not the source of all enlightenment and leaving it does not inevitably spell doom for our country.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May is also due to give a major speech this week setting out the U.K.’s position on the post-Brexit relationship with the bloc.
European Council President Donald Tusk on Friday was dismissive of an agreement reportedly reached among senior U.K. Cabinet ministers to get behind a position of “managed divergence” in some sectors of the single market but not others. Tusk said “there can be no cherry-picking and no single market à la carte.”