Corbyn to Accuse May of Wanting Brexit ‘Shangri-La’ for Bankers

  • Labour leader seeks to end confusion over EU departure policy
  • Spokesman corrects stance on single market after interview

Brexit Bill Seeks EU Legislation Link to U.K. Law

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will warn of a “Shangri-La for bosses and bankers” if Prime Minister Theresa May is allowed to continue with her plans for Brexit.

Speaking at the Trades Union Congress in Brighton on Tuesday, Corbyn will pledge to fight for a “jobs first” split from the European Union after a BBC interview on Monday in which he added to confusion over Labour’s position on quitting the bloc.

May’s policies for Brexit will “deliver a deregulated free market tax haven on the shores of Europe, underpinned with a race-to-the-bottom trade deal with Donald Trump,” Corbyn will say Tuesday, according to extracts of his speech released by his office. He will also attack the so-called gig economy and urge his young supporters to join trade unions.

Corbyn hinted on Monday that he might be open to trying to keep Britain inside the EU’s single market after Brexit, in an apparent shift in Labour’s ever-evolving position. He has spent most of his political career opposed to British membership of the EU, but was persuaded to campaign against Brexit in 2016 and has come under pressure from some Labour lawmakers to campaign to keep Britain inside the single market.

“There has to be a trade relationship with Europe, whether that’s formally in the single market or whether that’s an agreement to trade within the single market,” Corbyn told the BBC on Monday. “That’s open to discussion or negotiation.”

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In the same interview he went on to say that single market membership "is only possible, I believe, if you’re actually a member of the EU." The EU has repeatedly said the U.K. cannot have the best of both worlds and that single market membership is contingent on accepting freedom of movement rules.

A spokesman for Corbyn’s office later explained: “Our position hasn’t changed. We won’t be ‘members’ of the single market after the transition. We want to achieve full tariff-free access to the single market. That could be achieved by a new relationship with the single market or a bespoke trade deal with the EU, which was what Jeremy was referring to.”

Corbyn will also defend immigration in his speech Tuesday and accuse populists of blaming foreign nationals for the problems of working people.

“We must never let ourselves be duped and divided. It isn’t migrants who drive down wages and conditions but unscrupulous employers, supported by a government that slashes rights and protections at work whenever it gets the chance,” he will say.

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