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Are you SURE you voted Remain, Jeremy? Corbyn doesn’t want Britain to be a member of the EU single market and slams free trade ‘dogma’

  • Labour leader condemns ‘free trade dogma’ for hurting poor countries
  • Aides make clear he doesn’t want UK to be full member of EU single market
  • Many Labour MPs believe Corbyn secretly wanted Brexit vote

Jeremy Corbyn lashed out at ‘free trade dogma’ today as aides confirmed he does not want Britain to be a member of the EU single market.

The Labour leader believes free trade agreements are a tactic used by wealthy nations to ‘disadvantage the poorest countries in the world’.

He also regards the single market as means for enforcing ‘privatisation and deregulation’.

He was forced to clarify his stance tonight, insisting the Labour party under his leadership ‘will be pressing for full access to the European single market for goods and services’ but not pushing to remain members.

Jeremy Corbyn condemned 'free trade dogma' as aides signalled he does not want to be a full member of the EU single market

The intervention has sparked fresh fury among Labour moderates, who are overwhelmingly Europhile and have been up in arms about his lacklustre showing during the EU referendum.

Mr Corbyn said during the campaign that he was only ‘seven-and-a-half’ out of 10 in favour of EU membership.

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote he called for Article 50 – the mechanism for leaving the Brussels club – to be triggered immediately, before backing away from the demand.

Debating with Prime Minister Theresa May in the Commmons today, Mr Corbyn said the current ‘model of running the global economy’ had produced ‘huge increases in inequality and failed in its own terms’.

‘The free trade dogma the Prime Minister spoke of has often been pursued at the expense of the world’s most fragile economies, and has been realised with destructive consequences for our environment,’ he said.

‘We need a UK trade agenda that protects people and the environment, and I urge the Prime Minister to stand with me against the use of Britain’s aid and trade policies to further the agenda of deregulation and privatisation in developing countries.

‘We need a trade policy that values human rights and human dignity.’

Briefing journalists after the exchanges, a senior Labour source said Mr Corbyn had been ‘talking about the economic model that has been applied across the world over the last 25 -30 years… that clearly hasn’t delivered in terms of living standards’.

Mr Corbyn made his comments about free trade during a debate in the House of Commons

Mr Corbyn wanted to see ‘expanded trade’, the added. ‘Free trade agreements are often used to disadvantage the poorest counties in the world by forcing corporate interests into the heart of their public services.’

The source also made clear that while Mr Corbyn supported ‘access’ to the single market, he did not support ‘full membership’.

Labour would be seeking exemptions from rules that require ‘privatisation and deregulation’, the source said.

‘At the moment for example the EU is in many senses a customs union against the rest of the world. Britain outside of the EU wouldn’t have to abuide by that,’ the source said.

In a statement to clarify his stance on the single market, Mr Corbyn said tonight: ‘We accept and respect the decision of the British people in last month’s referendum to leave the European Union.

‘John McDonnell and Emily Thornberry have set out our red lines for trade, jobs, investment and environmental and social protection in the negotiations for a new relationship with Europe.

‘We will be pressing for full access to the European single market for goods and services as part of those negotiations.

Prime Minister Theresa May told him free trade 'underpinned the prosperity of this country'

‘But there are directives and obligations linked to the single market, such as state aid rules and requirements to liberalise and privatise public services, which we would not want to see as part of a post-Brexit relationship.

‘What is essential is that the government brings forward its own agenda for those negotiations to parliament as soon as possible.’

Owen Smith, who is challenging Mr Corbyn for the Labour leadership, said: ‘Tens of thousands of Labour members and trade unionists will be worried to hear that Jeremy Corbyn appears to agree with David Davis that our membership of the single market is not worth fighting for.

‘I have been consistent in saying that trade with Europe is in our national economic interest. It brings jobs, growth and investment.

Owen Smith (pictured), who is challenging Mr Corbyn for the Labour leadership, said: 'Tens of thousands of Labour members and trade unionists will be worried to hear that Jeremy Corbyn appears to agree with David Davis that our membership of the single market is not worth fighting for

‘Jeremy seems happy to accept Brexit at any cost – even if that means putting British jobs and investment at risk.

‘Perhaps this explains why he failed to ask a single question of Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions about Brexit, and why he failed to campaign hard enough during the referendum.’

Labour MP Pat McFadden said: ‘The question of the Single Market matters to jobs, trade, investment and prosperity.

‘We cannot gamble our economic future on a Liam Fox world tour exploring trade deals when countries have already said that settling our relationship with the EU is the priority.

‘Any new deals will be more comprehensive if the UK has maximum access to European markets, which means membership of the Single Market.’

Mr Corbyn’s remarks on free trade were greeted with derision by Mrs May and those on the Government benches.

‘If we are going to see prosperity and growth in the economies around the world, the way to get there is through free trade,’ the Prime Minister said.

‘Free trade has underpinned the prosperity of this country. I will take no lesson from you on action to help developing countries and those in poverty elsewhere in the world, because this Government has a fine record in terms of what we have done in humanitarian support.

Former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna Former shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden

‘It is free trade which underpins our growth. We will be the global leader in free trade.

‘Free trade can be the best anti-poverty policy for those countries. I will unashamedly go out there and give the message we want a free trade country.

‘I’m only sorry the Labour Party is turning its back on something that has led to the prosperity of the United Kingdom.’

One-time leadership challenger Chuka Umunna also piled in to criticise Mr Corbyn over his stance on the single market.

‘Working people the length and breadth of Britain benefit enormously from Britain’s place in the European Single Market,’ he said.

‘It helps our companies sell without barriers to our biggest market, creating good jobs in manufacturing, technology and other industries.

‘Furthermore, the rules of the Single Market enshrine vital rights for workers like the right to equal pay, regular rest breaks, and equal treatment for agency workers.

‘Labour should be fighting for Britain to stay in the Single Market, not turning a blind eye to its advantages. I hope our party clarifies its position in support of UK membership of the Single Market, and continued close engagement with Europe.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3777976/Are-SURE-voted-Remain-Jeremy-Corbyn-doesn-t-want-Britain-member-EU-single-market-slams-free-trade-dogma.html#ixzz4JbvxdAoM
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3777976/Are-SURE-voted-Remain-Jeremy-Corbyn-doesn-t-want-Britain-member-EU-single-market-slams-free-trade-dogma.html

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