Jeremy Corbyn has offered Leave voters a vision to transform Britain as he pledged to block a no-deal Brexit.
The Labour leader, holding a shadow cabinet meeting in Salford to plan the next steps to stop what he called Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “dictatorial approach” to Parliament, said Leave-voting areas had suffered from austerity and decades of lack of investment.
He went through regions of England detailing the damage he claimed a no-deal EU exit could do.
Corbyn said: “So to people who voted leave, they may have many, many reasons for voting leave but nobody wanted to lose their rights, lose their job or see a sweetheart trade deal set up with the United States.”
He said in the West Midlands, 10,000 people are employed in car production in Solihull, 9,000 in Coventry and 8,000 in Birmingham, which could all be at risk under no deal, which could “tear the heart out of the West Midlands”.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, where 10,000 people are employed in the steel industry, no deal would mean “no steel”, he said.
And in the East of England, the region with the largest agricultural sector employing more than 30,000 people, no deal would be “catastrophic” according to the National Farmers Union, Corbyn said.
He added: “The Tories always put first those who lend and speculate over those who make things.
“That’s why it’s the billionaire hedge funders who bankroll Boris Johnson and his party who call the shots.”
The Labour leader said the UK has the worst regional inequality in Europe, citing the £1,023 per head spent on transport in London compared with just £422 in the North.
He said travelling the 126 miles from Liverpool to Hull on the train takes nearly three hours, but the 286-mile journey from London to Paris is 40 minutes less.
His party, he claimed, had a “serious and practical plan” to “power up the North” with an investment “blitz” of billions in public money.
Labour’s plan for a seven-fold increase in offshore wind energy will bring 12,000 jobs to Norfolk, 11,000 to the Humber, and 10,000 to the North East, he said.
And the retrofitting of houses will create more than 8,000 jobs in the West Midlands, 4,000 in South Yorkshire and 1,700 in Derbyshire and save on energy bills, Corbyn claimed.
The Labour leader was asked how he would convince Leave voters in the North and elsewhere not to abandon his party.
He said: “It is our mission to have serious trade relationships with Europe in the future, in or out. It’s also our mission to invest in every community all across this country so we can bring the social justice that people crave.
“And our position all along has been one of understanding the decision made in 2016 but also doing our very best as a party, as a movement, to protect jobs and give us the opportunity to invest in areas, many of whom voted leave, who had seen no investment for 20 or 30 years and seen the loss of good quality, secure jobs in manufacturing replaced by fly-by-night economics, zero hours contracts and insecurity at the same time as the local authority expenditure has been slashed and all the social infrastructure that makes up our communities destroyed in the process, leaving that sense of hopelessness.
“And we will take that message which actually unites people, and we will give people a final say on the relationship with Europe.
“Either no deal or remain or whatever other thing may come out of Parliament over the next few weeks.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?