Norwich South MP Clive Lewis in call for Labour to make post-Brexit commitment to single market

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn needs to make a commitment over the party's position on staying in the single market following Brexit, Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has said.

Mr Lewis is one of more than 30 MPs, along with MEPs, trade union leaders and Labour peers, to sign an open letter urging that the party should commit to staying in the single market and customs union in the wake of exiting the European Union.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has not made a long-term commitment over the issue, but Mr Lewis and others are urging him to do so, with splits within the party.

They want the commitment - which would be a change to official party Brexit policy - to be made at the Labour party conference, which gets under way in Brighton today.

The open letter states: 'Labour should commit to staying in the Single Market and Customs Union – ruling out no options for how to achieve this – and to working with sister parties and others across Europe to improve workers' rights, boost trade union membership and put an end to the exploitation of workers, not freedom of movement.

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'This would send a powerful message of solidarity to the rest of Europe, and to the millions of EU and UK nationals living in limbo here and across the continent.

'Labour is right to argue for a transitional period as we leave the EU, but we must now go further.

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'It is simply unsustainable to say we are an anti-austerity party but that we would jeopardise ties with our biggest trading partner.

'For the sake of jobs, public services, peace in Ireland and the rights of everyone who calls the UK home, we must offer a clear alternative to the Tories' destructive Brexit.'

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