Claim: Labour Secretly Plotting with EU to Keep Britain in Customs Union

Michel Barnier and Jeremy Corbyn
OLIVIER HOSLET/AFP/Getty

The leadership of the Labour Party is secretly plotting with the European Union to potentially allow more migrants in and keep the UK tied to the bloc’s Customs Union, a leaked memo suggests.

The memo has revealed that leader Jeremy Corbyn and his fiercely pro-Remain Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer could keep the UK locked in key EU institutions, under many of its rules and laws, if they can seize power.

On Monday, the pair met with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and Corbyn allegedly promised to run negotiations “very differently” if he became Prime Minister, The Telegraph reports.

The memo detailing the shady meeting claims Corbyn’s Labour could be willing to bow to rules of the European Court of Justice and is “open” to staying in the Customs Union.

Inside the Customs Union, the UK would be unable to control its own trade policy or strike free trade deals with other nations.

The memo also says the Labour leader could offer a “unilateral guarantee” on the rights of EU migrants during the Brexit transition period, which could mean tens of thousands more coming and staying for good — with no guarantees for Britons in the EU.

The revelations were seen as a call to remove Theresa May as Prime Minister, as she has said Britain will leave the Customs Union.

One EU diplomat joked: “It sounded like he more or less asked for a coup d’etat. As if he was saying, ‘you guys just let May go and I’ll be your guy’.”

Labour, however, denied the contents of the memo, saying: “Jeremy did not say he was open to staying in the Customs Union. He said that a customs union was a viable endpoint.

“We have been clear all the way through that you can’t be in the Customs Union if you are not in the EU.

“As for the suggestion that we are trying to undermine the Government, it’s true that we would negotiate a better deal but it is certainly not the case that we are trying to undermine the negotiations.”

The development comes as a draft Brexit withdrawal agreement drawn up by the EU reportedly shows they will demand Northern Ireland stay inside the Customs Union and Single Market, which could mean continued open borders.

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