Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses delegates on day four of the Labour Party conference on September 26, 2018 in Liverpool, England | Leon Neal/Getty Images
Jeremy Corbyn names his price for backing Brexit deal
Labour leader tells Theresa May in his conference speech that if she cannot clinch a Brexit deal ‘you need to make way for a party that can and will.’
By Tom McTague
Updated 9/26/18, 6:12 PM CET
LIVERPOOL, England — Jeremy Corbyn made continued membership of the EU’s customs union his price for backing any final Brexit agreement struck by Theresa May, as he set out an alternative negotiating strategy at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool Wednesday.
In a speech lasting just under an hour, Corbyn called for party unity to force the Conservative Party from power, giving Labour the chance to finish the job of negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU. He branded the prospect of a no-deal Brexit a “national disaster.”
In a strikingly conciliatory tone distancing the party from hard-line Remainers who are pushing for a second referendum with the option to remain in the EU, Corbyn said he wants to “reach out” to the prime minister to offer his support in the final vote on the terms of Britain’s Brexit divorce. But that support would only come if the deal keeps Britain inside the EU’s customs union, while meeting a series of other demands on maintaining standards.
“Brexit is about the future of our country and our vital interests,” he told the packed auditorium in Liverpool.