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21 November 2016

Jeremy Corbyn to tell businesses Brexit is “unmistakable rejection“ of status quo

The Labour leader is speaking ahead of the Autumn Statement. 

By Julia Rampen

Jeremy Corbyn will tell business leaders that Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President-elect are an “unmistakable rejection” of the economic system.

In his speech to the Confederation of British Industry, the Labour leader is expected to say that “far, far too many people” are only just surviving – despite Labour striking a softer tone on taxes for the rich. 

He is to say: “Both Britain’s decision to back Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump, are an unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that hasn’t been working for most people. 

“It’s a system that’s delivered ballooning inequality along with falling or stagnating living standards for the majority.”

Corbyn will warn against a “mishandled, chaotic Brexit” and urge businesses to partner with Labour to work towards “a better alternative”. 

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He is expected to say the party will use public intervention to promote entrepreneurship, declaring: “It’s intervention for the common good.”

Despite the tough talk, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Andrew Marr show on Sunday that he would halt tax cuts to the rich, and even reverse some of them. Instead, he said Labour would focus on curbing tax evasion and avoidance. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is expected to raise the income tax threshold to £50,000 for 40 per cent taxpayers in the Autumn Statement. 

McDonnell’s position has led the Scottish Conservatives to claim that Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP First Minister, is now more left-wing than the man who named Leon Trotsky one of his biggest influences.

Corbyn is speaking at the CBI alongside the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

She is expected to tell the CBI she aims to reduce corporation tax to the lowest in the G20, in an attempt to rebuild relationships with the business community after Brexit.