Labour’s apparently ‘settled’ policy on leaving the single market and protecting worker’s rights (including the regulations underpinning health and safety), remains under pressure to reveal more detail, as Jeremy Corbyn promises to maintain close ties to Europe and protect worker’s rights at the Labour Party Conference this week.
Labour’s Annual Conference, taking place in Brighton from 24-27 September, sees debate over Brexit policy continue, with some arguing that worker’s rights (and the health of the economy) is best achieved by staying inside the single market and customs union, while others argue that respecting the referendum demands its departure.
It is a topic that divides opinion – and continues to unsettle any Labour Party policy as its Leadership battles to shore it up.
In an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr, Jeremy Corbyn said that following Brexit, he does “not want to see a sweet-heart deal with Donald Trump which means that you lower environmental, consumer and working conditions in the UK. It’s a race to the bottom. Very bad.” Yet in the same interview he cautions against staying inside the single market.
However, with two thirds (66%) of Labour Party members wanting to stay inside the single market, and with members now empowered to make Labour Party Policy following recent changes made under Jeremy Corbyn, this ambivalent policy position of being ‘outside with all the benefits of being inside’ is looking very fragile.
Reacting on Twitter, Chuka Umunna MP, said: “Membership of the Single Market matters when it comes to worker’s rights! It’s a social, not just economic issue.”
Labour members voted to keep its current Brexit policy to leave the single market from the last manifesto at the conference on Monday.