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Brexit: Opposition leader Corbyn backs vote to stay in the EU

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By Joanna Gill
Brexit: Opposition leader Corbyn backs vote to stay in the EU

The campaign for the UK to stay in the EU has got a boost from an unlikely supporter.

At his first official speech on the EU Jeremy Corbyn called on voters to participate in the referendum, saying it was the best way to protect workers’ rights.

But the previously incurable eurosceptic hardly gave a ringing endorsement of the bloc.

“Over the years, I and many others have been very critical of many decisions taken by the EU and I remain very critical of its shortcomings; from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressures to deregulate or privatise public services, so Europe needs to change. But that change can only come from working within the European Union to achieve it.”

  • Voted against joining the European Economic Community (the EU’s forerunner) in 1975.
  • Voted against Maastricht Treaty (creating the EU)
  • Voted against Lisbon Treaty (amending previous treaties forming the basis of the union)

A new poll showed voters trusted Corbyn more than the prime minister on the issue of Brexit. Cameron has been dogged by recent scandal over his tax affairs in the wake of the Panama Papers leak.

Ahead of the official campaign to start on Friday, the Bank of England announced that a vote to leave the EU could harm economic growth and have an adverse impact on the pound.