Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn believes that job losses in the UK could be “huge” if Britain does not manage to secure a favourable trading relationship with the European Union following Brexit.
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Corbyn said that the UK needs to make sure maintaining “an effective trading relationship” with the continent is a priority in negotiations, or could risk significant job losses.
Asked about his Brexit priorities, Corbyn said: “One, that we have an effective trading relationship with Europe. Around half of our trade is with Europe at the present time. Secondly, that the important regulations on the environment, on the European arrest warrant are actually continued in some form through those various European agencies.”
“We should have a market relationship,” he continued, hinting that Labour may back membership of the European Economic Area — a policy directly in opposition to the government’s decision to leave the Single Market entirely.
“Whether that’s membership of the single market, whether it’s the European Economic Area. Whatever form that [the market relationship] takes,” Corbyn told Ridge.
“But quite seriously, an awful lot of jobs in Britain — Nissan in Sunderland, Rolls Royce, many others — rely on relationships with Europe, and the construction or part construction of planes and cars across this country and across Europe, and vice versa. There has to be a continuation of that.
“Otherwise the job losses are going to be huge. The other markets are simply not there as of tomorrow.”
Until now, Corbyn has not fully clarified Labour’s position on the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, and it is not entirely clear if he wants Britain to retain its single market membership — which, in turn, would require Britain to continue the free movement of people.
The Labour leader continually used the term “full access” which is a highly ambiguous term given that the fullest access is provided by continued membership.
During his interview, Corbyn also confirmed to Ridge that the party does not intend to block Brexit. “We will not block Article 50. We will, however, amend the bill in order to make demands on market access and regulation,” Corbyn said on Sunday.
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