Frances O’Grady’s speech at TUC’s annual congress is expected to increase pressure on Labour to shift its policy on Brexit.
Speaking at the TUC’s annual congress in Brighton, as MPs in Westminster prepare for a debate on the EU withdrawal bill, O’Grady will say: “We have set out our tests for the Brexit deal working people need. Staying in the single market and customs union would deliver it.”
Her speech comes after the TUC’s general council, which represents about 50 trade union organisations, officially stated that it was in favour of remaining in the single market after a meeting on Thursday. [...]
But unions are a key support base for Corbyn’s leadership and have become increasingly vocal about the risks of plunging out of the single market.
Some of his party’s backbenchers, including former shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander and Progress chair Alison McGovern, have set up a “Labour campaign for the single market” in a bid to influence the party’s policy.
In her keynote speech in Brighton, O’Grady is expected to say: “The prime minister is sticking to the same old script that she can get whatever she wants, that we can all have all the same benefits of the single market without playing by the rules.
“This isn’t a grown-up negotiating position. It’s a letter to Santa. My challenge to all political parties is this: when it comes to Brexit, don’t box yourselves in. Don’t rule anything out. Keep all options on the table. And put jobs, rights and livelihoods first.” [...]
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