Saturday 5 November 2016

Jeremy Corbyn calls for more transparency over Brexit plan


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the government to spell out its plans for negotiating Brexit to Parliament "without delay".

In a speech in London to trade unionists and activists, he said there needed to be more "transparency" over how Britain would leave the EU.

The High Court ruled on Thursday that MPs should be allowed to vote on triggering Article 50.

The government has said it will appeal against the decision.

Speaking to the Class think tank, Mr Corbyn said his party "accepted and respected" the decision of voters to leave the EU but insisted on "transparency and accountability" to Parliament about the government's plans.

"I suspect the government opposes democratic scrutiny of its plans because frankly there aren't any plans.

"There are no plans beyond the hollow rhetoric, which they keep on repeating - apparently - that Brexit means Brexit.''

The Labour leader accused Prime Minister Theresa May of reaching "secret deals" over Brexit with companies such as Nissan, which confirmed it will build two new models at its Sunderland plant following talks with the government.

"We can't have secret deals on Brexit, company by company," Mr Corbyn said.

"All our businesses need the kind of assurances that apparently Nissan has had about the shape of the government's Brexit plans to make the right investment decisions."

Mr Corbyn said that after "six wasted years of austerity and savage cuts", the Conservatives have started to change their rhetoric towards giving more help to ordinary working-class families.

This month's Autumn Statement from the Chancellor Philip Hammond would be "the test of whether they could back up their rhetoric with meaningful change", he added.

Labour has promised £500bn in investment over a decade in infrastructure improvements to railways, housing, energy and broadband, he said.

"A country that doesn't invest is a country that has given up, that has taken the path of managed decline," he told delegates.

"We offer a different way forward that meets the needs and aspirations of our people in 2016, not a 1980s - or even 1950s - never-never land."

The party leader said a Labour government would also hit out at tax dodging.

"This is the message to the tax dodgers - a Labour government will come after you. No more turning a blind eye, no more shabby deals - we will collect the taxes," he said.

The government has said MPs will get a say over any final deal relating to Brexit.

But it is challenging the High Court ruling that states Parliament has the right to vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU.

The appeal hearing at the Supreme Court is expected to be in early December.



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