Jeremy Corbyn slams government for not yet sorting out Brexit for businesses

Hayley Kirton
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The Labour leader did not mince his words when it came to Brexit (Source: Getty)

Government is harming businesses with its "shambolic handling" of Brexit, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said today.

Noting he was surprised to find himself speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference, Corbyn supported the calls for a Brexit which provided a smooth transition for businesses.

"We now all face some of the biggest changes and challenges of our time", Corbyn said, adding there could be no bigger challenge ahead than a "mishandled and chaotic exit from the European Union".

He slammed the progress of government so far on Brexit, remarking that it "doesn't appear to have any plan at all" and added that its handling to date had been nothing short of "shambolic".

Read more: The City is struggling with the Whitehall Brexit machine

In particular, Corbyn called for moves to be made to secure some sort of tariff-free access to the Single Market, noting that not doing so would "close the door" for many business opportunities.

Corbyn added that the vote for Brexit, and potentially the vote for Donald Trump in the US, was the people's way of saying they were unhappy with the hand the political landscape had dealt them so far.

"They're not just about managing. Many are just about surviving," he said.

However, in contrast to Theresa May's promise this morning to cut corporation tax until it sat at the bottom of the G20 rates, Corbyn said that businesses should instead be prepared to pay over more to bolster much needed investment across the country.

Read more: Labour WON'T block Article 50 insists deputy leader Tom Watson

He also called for putting an end to zero hours contracts and taking a tougher stance to tax avoidance and evasion.

Speaking earlier in the day, the Prime Minister hinted she recognised the danger of presenting businesses with a "cliff edge" Brexit without transition periods and suggested that she would keep this in mind when entering talks to leave the EU.

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