New Labour leader and radical left-wing politician Jeremy Corbyn is the political polar opposite to Prime Minister David Cameron but he may have just found some common ground.
Corbyn, who subscribes to 1970s socialist ideals, said in a BBC interview that he will not campaign for Britain to leave the European Union when people vote in a referendum by the end of 2017.
“Basically, on the question of Europe, I want to see a social Europe, a cohesive Europe, a coherent Europe, not a free market Europe,” he said in an interview with the BBC, which was one of the first since he took over as Labour leader at the weekend.
“That is a developing position. It is not a problem, we have had that discussion, we are continuing that discussion, there will be very clear statements coming out in the very near future.”
When political editor Laura Kuenssberg asked if he sees a position where Labour would campaign for Britain leaving the EU, also known as a “Brexit,” Corbyn said “no, I don’t see that position because I think we are going to be working with trade unions and social groups across Europe, as well as social groups in this country.”
The Conservative-led government will deliver a referendum by the end of 2017. The party is largely against leaving the EU.
In January last year, UK Chancellor George Osborne said the Tories were determined to deliver on the promise of a referendum but they would prefer to stay within the EU and negotiate “a better deal.”
“Our determination is clear: to deliver the reform and then let the people decide,” Osborne said in a speech at a Tory party conference on January 14. “It is the status quo which condemns the people of Europe to an ongoing economic crisis and continuing decline. And so there is a simple choice for Europe: reform or decline.”
While Labour won’t be campaigning to leave the 28-nation bloc, don’t expect Corbyn to fully agree with the Conservatives when it comes ironing out Britain’s membership conditions within the EU.
“So, I see the way forward as how we develop the idea of a social Europe. What I was opposed to and remain opposed to is the idea of David Cameron going round Europe and give up workers’ rights, give up environmental protection, and give up a whole lot of things that are important,” said Corbyn.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.