A Labour donor has labelled Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit stance "disappointing"

Mark Sands
Follow Mark
Jeremy Corbyn Lays Out His Plan For Brexit Negotiations
The UK will head to the polls on 8 June. (Source: Getty)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire from one of his party's millionaire backers after he today claimed a "no deal" Brexit would be "an economic disaster".

Speaking in Essex today, Corbyn claimed Prime Minister Theresa May's stance on quitting Europe was "reckless" and warned that failure to reach a deal would be "the worst of all deals" for the UK.

However, millionaire Labour backer John Mills, the founder of retail business JML, has labelled the Labour leader's pessimism "disappointing".

"Under WTO terms we would still have access to the Single Market, under exactly the same conditions as the United States, China, Japan, India and Australia. The average tariff on goods is just 2.5 per cent," Mills told City A.M.

"Similarly pessimistic forecasts were made prior to the EU referendum, yet our economy easily weathered the Brexit vote and continues to outperform expectations."

Read More: May backs Brexit voters in a pitch aimed directly at the UK's Eurosceptics

Corbyn's speech this afternoon saw him vow to seek a Brexit deal "that gives British business and British society a chance to thrive in a post-Brexit world" and to "make Britain a centre for science, technology and research".

He also said the party would implement a plan for "fair, managed migration", with shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer later hinting the party would seek to reduce the numbers coming to the UK primarily through hitting skills shortages in the country, and tackling exploitative trafficking of workers.

Labour is promising to negotiate a tariff free trade deal with the EU in its negotiations, and has said it would reject ‘no deal’ as a viable option.

However, it remains unclear how Labour would react if this was not possible, or if EU leaders are only willing to offer the UK poor trading terms.

Read More: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hints at writing off £30bn student debt

Separately, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry declared that Labour would seek to press ahead if elected as a minority government, and challenge other left-wing rivals to back them.

"In a minority we will go ahead and we will put forward a Queen's Speech and a Budget and if people want to vote for it then good. If they don't want to vote for it they are going to have to go back and speak to their constituents and explain to them why it is that we have a Tory government instead," she said.

"If we are the largest party we go ahead. No deals. With our manifesto, with out budget and with our Queen's Speech," Thornberry said.

Related articles