The UK will “have to have a customs union” with the EU after leaving the bloc, Jeremy Corbyn has said in remarks suggesting a further shift by Labour towards a softer Brexit.
Answering questions after a speech to manufacturers’ organisation the EEF, the Labour leader said some form of continued customs union would be imperative, in part to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Asked how Labour’s position on Brexit differed to that of the government, Corbyn said: “We have to have access to European markets, we have to have a customs union that makes sure we can continue that trade, particularly between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. That is key to it.”
He continued: “Being a member of the single market is automatic if you’re a member of the EU. If we’re not in the EU, we’re not automatically a member of it.