The prospect of a hard Brexit has raised concerns over price inflation hitting British consumers, especially on goods imported from the European Union.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized the UK government’s industrial policy on Tuesday, claiming the Tory government hasn’t done enough to decrease Britain’s reliance on imported goods, including essentials.
Addressing EEF representatives at an event in Birmingham today, Corbyn said a future Labour government would put an end to the “racket” of public sector outsourcing, and would aim for the UK to “build things here that for too long have been built abroad.”
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“For the last 40 years… we’ve been told that it’s good — advanced even — for our country to manufacture less and less and rely instead on cheap labor abroad to produce imports, while we focus on the City of London and the finance sector,” the Labour leader said.
He also said the manufacturing sector wasn’t receiving enough state support, costing the economy jobs and opportunities for expansion.
Regarding Brexit negotiations and the ongoing intra-government crisis, Corbyn said UK Prime Minister Theresa May should reconsider exploring a customs union arrangement with the EU and said the decision should be a matter of “practical common sense.”
Moreover, Corbyn warned that a “botched Brexit will sell our manufacturers short with the fantasy of a free trading buccaneering future, which in reality would be a nightmare of our public services sold to multinational companies and our country in hock to Donald Trump.”
Tory Robert Jenrick, who serves as the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, rebuffed Corbyn’s pledge to bolster Britain’s manufacturing sector, describing his comments as laughable.
“This is laughable coming from the Labour Party who oversaw millions of jobs lost and a record decline in manufacturing,” MP Robert Jenrick said.
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