UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will say that Britain “can be better off” after leaving the European Union (EU), softening his tone on Brexit, according to the released parts of the speech he is set to make on Tuesday.
The opposition leader, who campaigned against the EU divorce in the run-up to the June 23 EU referendum, will make a speech in Peterborough on Tuesday, where he will explain his views on Brexit negotiations.
According to British media, Corbyn will double down on his party’s standing that the government of Prime Minister Theresa May does not have clear plans for taking the country out of the EU.
“Not since the Second World War has Britain's ruling elite so recklessly put the country in such an exposed position without a plan,” he will say, asserting that he would not give May a “free pass.”
“Unlike the Tories, Labour will insist on a Brexit that works not just for City interests, but in the interests of us all,” he says, while pledging to “push to maintain full access to the European single market to protect living standards and jobs.”
Staying in the single market requires commitment to the EU’s freedom of movement policy, which means the UK should open its borders on foreign citizens.
This is while tightening the borders in order to curb migration was one of the key demands of Brexiteers.
Corbyn will say on Tuesday that despite pushing against Brexit, Labour is not “wedded” to freedom of movement for EU citizens in the UK and does not see it as a “point of principle.”
“But nor can we afford to lose full access to the European markets on which so many British businesses and jobs depend,” he says. “Changes to the way migration rules operate from the EU will be part of the negotiations.”
He will also vow on behalf of Labour to ask for “fair rules and reasonably managed migration,” while fighting “undercutting of pay and conditions by closing down cheap labor loopholes, banning exclusive advertising of jobs abroad and strengthening workplace protections.”
May came under heavy fire on Sunday, after asking for more time to put together her plans for Brexit.
She told Sky News that, despite the attacks, her government’s arrangements were not “muddled” at all and it was the "complexity of the issues” that prolonged the process.
She has promised to trigger the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50 in March and complete the Brexit process by 2019.