Jeremy Corbyn says Labour won’t campaign to leave the EU

17th September, 2015 8:23 am

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will not campaign to leave the European Union.

Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s new leader told the BBC that the party was still “developing” its policy on the EU, but that he did not think Labour would campaign for Brexit. When asked if he could envisage campaigning to leave the EU he said: “No I don’t see that position.”

This comes following MPs’ confusion around Corbyn’s position. Former Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna said on Sunday that he had resigned from the frontbench over Corbyn’s EU stance.

“It is my view that we should support the UK remaining a member of the EU, notwithstanding the outcome of any renegotiation by the prime minister, and I cannot envisage any circumstances where I would be campaigning alongside those who would argue for us to leave; Jeremy has made it clear to me that he does not wholeheartedly share this view”, Umunna wrote.

However on Monday Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn said that Corbyn and Labour will campaign to stay in the EU.

Corbyn has said Cameron can’t be given a “blank cheque” on EU negotiations and that he must secure the “right” changes to the UK’s membership terms.

He said he wants the EU to move away from the market-driven model and ensure workers’ rights are protected:

“We are having discussions to sort this question out. Basically, on the question of Europe, I want to see a social Europe, a cohesive Europe, a coherent Europe, not a free market Europe.

“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.”

“What I remain opposed to is the idea that David Cameron could go around and give up workers rights, give up environmental protection, give up a whole load of things that are very important.”

A number of trade unions – including one of the country’s biggest, Unite – have also said that if worker protections are given away under the renegotiation process they will have to look at their pro-EU position.

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