Jeremy Corbyn rules out UK staying in single market after Brexit


Jeremy Corbyn has hit back at Labour critics calling for the UK to stay in the single market after Brexit.

Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, the Labour leader insisted that remaining in the trading arrangement was dependent on being in the EU.

The comments came after some Labour figures called for the party to change tack and campaign to remain in the single market and customs union after withdrawal.

Mr Corbyn said: “The single market is dependent on membership of the European Union.

“Do we have a trading relationship with Europe which is tariff free, which is based on access to that market, and access of Europe to our market? Yes.

“Do we push for that in the negotiations? Yes. Is that what we have said to the European Union in opposition? Yes.

“You have to make a special relationship with the European Union.”

Mr Corbyn said that he was not calling for a second Brexit referendum.

“We are not supporting or calling for a second referendum. What we have called for is a meaningful vote in Parliament.”

However, Mr Corbyn sidestepped the question of whether Labour could support a new referendum in the future.

When asked by Robert Peston that Mr Corbyn was not saying he would never support another referendum, the Labour leader said: “We are not calling for one either”.

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In the same interview, Jeremy Corbyn distanced himself from the so-called “special relationship”, saying the US is not Britain’s most important relationship with another country.

The Labour leader said the UK had to maintain many important relationships around the world, as he hit out at “endless offensive remarks” by Donald Trump about women, minorities and different faiths.

Mr Corbyn was asked by Robert Peston if Britain’s relationship with the US was the most important relationship it has with another country.

The Labour leader replied: “No. I think there are many important relationships.

“The US one is obviously culturally and economically significant and important.

“Also the trading relationships we have around the world with obviously the EU, but also with India and China and the rest of the world are very important.

“Also our relationship with international institutions such as the United Nations is very important.

“The biggest disappointment of Donald Trump is, apart from his endless offensive remarks about women, about minorities and about different faiths, is his failure to support international institutions like the United Nations and like Unesco.”

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Mr Corbyn did acknowledge that having a relationship with and influence over the US was important “because it is such a huge military and economic power around the world”.

He added: “I’m not sure that anyone has succeeded in defining the special relationship.

“I’ve asked about the special relationship and I was told once, by a former prime minister, I won’t name the person, that if they specified what the special relationship was, it wouldn’t be a special relationship.”

This week President Trump said he was cancelling a proposed visit to open the new US embassy in London, saying the new embassy was a “bad deal”.

However, reports have suggested he called off his trip because he felt he had “not been shown enough love” by the British Government.

“He’s going to come at some point, I suppose,” said Mr Corbyn.

“He is the president of the United States, he will come at some point and no doubt there will be robust discussions with him.”


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