Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned that Britain risks a trade war with the EU over the government’s Brexit strategy.
It is highly anticipated that Theresa May on Tuesday will say that Britain is prepared to leave the single market and customs union.
Jeremy Corbyn said this was an “extremely risky” strategy.
He said the Prime Minister “seems to be heading in the direction of a bargain-basement economy on the shores of Europe, where we have low levels of corporate taxation. We will lose access to half our export market.”
Corbyn Critical of Hammond
Speaking on the Andrew Marr programme he was extremely critical of Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He said should Britain leave the single market and face EU tariffs the government might slash corporation tax for British firms.
Mr Corbyn said, “He appears to making some sort of threat to the European community saying ‘well if you don’t give us exactly what we want, we’re going to become this strange entity of the shores of Europe’
“It seems to me a recipe for some kind of trade war with Europe in the future. That doesn’t really seem to me a very sensible way forward.”
He confirmed that Labour would not block the government triggering Article 50, the formal leaving process of leaving the EU. He did say, however, that he would ally with MPs from other parties to influence the direction Brexit takes.
He said, “The Brexit vote isn’t a one-off thing. It has got to be agreed by 27 national parliaments, it has got to be agreed by the European Parliament. There is quite a long way to go on this.”
Elected House of Lords
Mr Corbyn also said Labour would champion an elected House of Lords. He said, “We have a House of Lords, which is dominated by a small number of people from London and the south-east.
“I would want to see an elected second chamber that is representative of all regions and nations of the United Kingdom,
“It’s not a new concept –it’s been in debate for a very long time.”