Shadow Chancellor commits to Single Market access

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has committed Labour to maintaining the UK’s access to the EU Single Market in a keynote speech to the Party’s annual conference in Liverpool.

In a wide-ranging speech setting out Labour’s economic priorities, Mr McDonnell said, “We will seek to preserve access to the Single Market for goods and services.” However, Mr McDonnell also noted the need for access to freedom of movement for Labour and also committed the Party to addressing “the concerns that people have raised in the undercutting of wages and conditions, and the pressure on local public services.” The commitment to Single Market access was welcomed by Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry.

In contrast, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury Spokesperson, Baroness Kramer, accused McDonnell of being “unwilling to fight for Britain’s place in the Single Market”. The Lib Dems have made numerous attempts to position themselves as the most EU-friendly party in the UK following the Brexit vote, taking advantage of Labour’s own divisions on the issue which have continued to manifest themselves following Corbyn’s re-election as party leader.