Corbyn calls on Socialists Together to ditch neoliberalism
JEREMY CORBYN was in Brussels yesterday where he declared that Labour “stands ready to take responsibility” over Brexit talks because Theresa May’s government is “bungling” the negotiations.
The Labour leader spoke to senior EU officials after negotiations had reportedly come to a deadlock, mainly over the £54 billion leaving fee. He said government needs to take action to get the talks back on track.
His visit coincided with Ms May’s attendance at the two-day EU summit in the Belgian capital ending today.
Before meeting with chief Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, Mr Corbyn said: “As the government’s splits and Brexit bungling become ever more damaging, Labour stands ready to take up responsibility for the Brexit negotiations.”
In his address to the “Socialists Together” conference the Labour leader warned that the left needed to come forward with a “radical alternative” to the “failed” policies of austerity and neoliberalism if they were to counter the rise of the extreme right.
“The neoliberal economic model … doesn’t work for most people. Inequality and low taxes for the richest are hurting our people and the economy, as even the IMF acknowledges. Our thinking must become the new consensus,” he said.
However Mr Corbyn stressed that the Labour Party does not see Europe or its policitians as the “enemy.”
“Our commitment is clear, we must and will respect the result of the EU referendum. But at the same time seek to build a new close and co-operative relationship with our fellow Europeans based on our common interests. We are internationalists.
“I urge all leaders on all sides, the UK and the EU must take the next steps together. There is no room — and no need — for insults or divisive posturing. It is our responsibility to build a relationship that will continue to thrive for generations to come.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis said leaving without a deal was “a distant possibility” and that his party was preparing for it as an “insurance policy.”
However Mr Corbyn reiterated that a no-deal scenario would “threaten jobs and living standards” as well as “harm our European neighbours.”