The Tory-Labour Brexit vision was revealed on Thursday night, as Labour whipped its MPs not to vote for an amendment that could have helped keep Britain in the single market, while the Liberal Democrats were the only major party to unanimously vote to stay in.
Despite expressly stating that he would take Britain out of the single market, with his Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer doing the same, and the Labour manifesto pledging the end of freedom of movement, many Labour voters believed that this was just a manoeuvre by Corbyn and hid his true intents with the EU.
But after a Parliamentary vote on Thursday night, on an amendment tabled by Chuka Umunna which would have been a major step towards staying in the single market, Corbyn revealed his true Brexit intentions by whipping his MPs not to vote for it, and then sacking shadow ministers who did.
In doing so, Corbyn became complicit in the Tory vision of a hard, extreme Brexit, which independent experts have claimed could cost the economy up to £31bn – over a quarter of the annual NHS budget.
The Facts of the Deal
In decisively making clear that Corbyn intends to join Prime Minister Theresa May in putting through her vision for a hard, extreme Brexit, it’s now possible to see what the details of the Tory-Labour plans are:
- 3.5 million jobs potentially lost. This is the number of jobs that rely on single market access according to a Conservative Foreign Office minister in 2014.
- £31bn lost from the economy. This figure was reached by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, and is around a quarter of the annual NHS budget, and around a third of the annual education budget.
- Families £500 worse off. Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister, revealed this shocking figure, which many families would find difficult to afford.
- Sharp hikes in food prices. Independent analysts suggest that fruit and veg costs alone could rise by 8% when we leave the single market, making the cost of living much more expensive for ordinary people.
The Liberal Democrats were the only major party to vote entirely for keeping Britain in the single market, with every single one of their MPs being in favour.
They were joined by most nationalist MPs, and Caroline Lucas.