JEREMY Corbyn has warned of a “huge threat to jobs all across Southampton” if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal at the end of this month.
During a visit to Hampshire, the Labour leader said Boris Johnson “seems to be heading for a no-deal exit” but that Labour would pass new legislation if necessary to stop him.
Mr Corbyn was at the site of the decommissioned Fawley power station, where MHI Vestas employs around 50 people painting giant sails for wind turbines.
Mr Corbyn told the Daily Echo: “From Southampton’s point of view, trade with Europe is absolutely essential.
“Tourists that come from Europe, ships that go to Europe, goods that are exported, goods that are imported – if that trade is disrupted by going onto World Trade Organisation arrangements, then clearly there’s a huge threat to jobs all across Southampton.”
Parliament will sit on Saturday, October 19, after a key EU summit, to discuss the next steps on Brexit.
The prime minister has insisted he will take Britain out of the EU with no deal if necessary, despite an act of Parliament intended to force him to request an extension if no agreement is reached.
Downing Street sources suggested earlier this week that a Brexit deal was looking unlikely.
Mr Corbyn said: “I think Boris Johnson’s ill-judged remarks mean that he seems to be heading for a no-deal exit.”
He said Labour would pass new legislation if necessary to get an extension to Britain’s EU membership in order “to work out a future relationship”.
Labour says it would seek a new withdrawal deal and put that to the public in a referendum.
“The Labour proposal is we have a trade relationship with Europe based on a customs union, trade access and protection of rights, which is something the EU is quite prepared to negotiate with us,” he said.
“We’ve allowed ourselves three months to do that and then a referendum between that and ‘remain and reform’.”
The MHI Vestas site employs around 50 people, painting 80 metre (262ft) sails for offshore wind turbines so they can withstand the elements.
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