Friday, 30 December 2016
Adam Bienkov writes:
The EU is not trusted by the British people and Labour will not seek to block Britain's exit from it, Jeremy Corbyn will say in his New Year’s message.
"2016 will be defined in history by the referendum on our EU membership," the Labour leader will say in his address to the nation.
"People didn’t trust politicians and they didn’t trust the European Union. I understand that.
"I’ve spent over 40 years in politics campaigning for a better way of doing things, standing up for people, taking on the establishment, and opposing decisions that would make us worse off."
As the UK prepares to trigger Article 50, Corbyn will rule out any attempt by Labour to block or delay Brexit.
"Labour accepts and respects the result of the referendum. We won’t be blocking our leaving the European Union," he will say.
Corbyn will echo comments by his shadow chancellor John McDonnell last month in which he welcomed Brexit as an "enormous opportunity" for the UK.
"We now have the chance to do things differently," he will say.
"To build an economy that invests and works for everyone across all our nations and regions."
Some Labour MPs have called on the leadership to push for a softer or delayed Brexit.
However, Corbyn's comments align him with McDonnell, who believes that any attempt to delay or prevent Britain's exit would put Labour "on the side of certain corporate elites."
The Labour leader will urge the government not to pursue a Brexit that rewards the banking and financial industries.
"A Brexit that protects the bankers in the City and continues to give corporate handouts to the biggest companies is not good enough," Corbyn will insist.
He will not outline how the party plans to prevent such an outcome, however.
Speaking last month, McDonnell said that while the party would not vote against the government on Brexit, they would use "moral pressure" to persuade the government to get a good deal for workers.
"I think it's the moral pressure that we'll be able to exert… I don't think it will come down to parliamentary procedures…" he insisted.
"No government can resist [the moral pressure]."