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Response To Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit Speech
Jeremy Corbyn - photo by CBI
A comprehensive customs union is a ‘real world’ solution that has been called for by the CBI and thousands of trading businesses of all sizes and sectors across the UK.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

“The Labour leader’s commitment to a customs union will put jobs and living standards first by remaining in a close economic relationship with the EU. It will help grow trade without accepting freedom of movement or payments to the EU.

“Growing trade is not an ‘either or’ question – Germany already exports five times as much with China as the UK from within the customs union. Many thousands of ambitious UK firms are looking to break into new markets. These companies need Government to focus on making access to markets simpler, not putting up barriers to our most important trading partner.

“Importantly, a customs union will go part of the way to providing a real-world solution to the Irish border question that is of such urgent concern to the people and firms of Northern Ireland.

“This evidence cannot be ignored. To do so would create barriers where there are none, risking prosperity and future living standards.

“But businesses have their eyes wide open on Labour’s overall rhetoric on re-nationalisation. If Labour turns its back on good collaboration between the Government and the private sector - putting vital sectors solely in the hands of politicians - public services, infrastructure and taxpayers will ultimately pay the price. The CBI will continue to engage with the Labour Party to find better solutions to the shared challenges we face.”

Len McCluskey, the leader of Britain and Ireland’s largest union Unite, welcomed Jeremy Corbyn's speech on Brexit, saying it showed that people have a clear choice between a Labour Brexit putting people first, or a Tory Brexit that puts its own party interests above those of the nation.

Commenting, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:
“Jeremy Corbyn has shown that people really do have a choice on Brexit.

“On the one hand, there is Labour which has pledged to build on the trading arrangements presently supporting millions of jobs in this country. A Corbyn government will also make it a priority to tackle the greedy bosses who have abused migrant workers to undermine employment conditions and attack the rate for the job.

“On the other hand, there are the Tories who are quite clearly putting their own party interests above those of the nation.

“This excellent speech today will also appeal to the employers with whom I speak to on a daily basis, and who tell me that the chronic uncertainty brought about by the government is causing the investment tap to be turned off.

“Jobs, living standards and sustaining peace in Norther Ireland desperately depend on getting the best Brexit deal possible. But this government is clearly incapable of agreeing among itself let alone with our European neighbours on the shape of our future.

“The sooner that they are gone and Labour can get on with the job of restoring our standing as a country and deliver on our hopes for a fairer nation, the better.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The Labour leader’s speech was a welcome step forwards. It provided some of the answers working people need on how their jobs, rights and livelihoods will be protected. And it exposed the threat to manufacturing jobs from the government’s red line on a customs union.

“The ball is now in Theresa May’s court. She must explain how her government will safeguard the Good Friday Agreement and keep Northern Ireland free from a hard border. And she must explain how people’s jobs will be kept safe if we no longer have the benefits of a customs union.”

Response To Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit Speech, 27th February 2018, 15:11 PM