Corbyn hints at bid to keep Britain in the single market after Brexit

11th September, 2017 2:40 pm

Jeremy Corbyn appeared to move Labour’s position on the single market again today when he said it is “open for discussion” whether Britain stays in the bloc after Brexit.

The party leader told the BBC he wanted a relationship that allowed Britain to trade “within” the single market.

In a wide-ranging interview he also condemned the Tory government for exporting arms to Saudi Arabia which were then used to bomb Yemen.

It was Corbyn’s comments on the EU that prompted greatest attention, however, with newspapers and MPs on the right again accusing him of confusion.

Corbyn seemed to leave the door open to single market membership when he spoke to the World At One.

“We want a relationship which allows us to trade within the single market,” he said.

“Whether that’s formal membership, which is only possible, I believe, if you’re actually a member of the EU, or whether it’s an agreed trading relationship, is open for discussion. The outcome is more important than the nomenclature on the way.”

Last month Labour softened its position to say it supported single market membership after Brexit talks had concluded.

Corbyn spoke out hours before MPs take part in a debate and late night vote on the bill for EU withdrawal.

Labour has imposed a three-line whip to oppose the bill, which it has described as a power grab”, but several backbenchers have indicated they will rebel.

Today Corbyn also called for parliament to reconvene a key committee on arms exports in order to put pressure on the government over its export of weapons.

British made devices are thought to have been used widely in Saudi Arabia’s campaign of airstrikes in Yemen.

“We are selling arms to Saudi Arabia – those arms are being dropped on Yemen and at the same time we are sending aid in from the Department for International Development,” Corbyn said.

We should not be doing both – we should be sending aid in and ensuring there is a political process to bring about a ceasefire.”

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