Barry Gardiner is unlikely warm up act for Jeremy Corbyn's big Brexit speech

Written by Dods staff on 26 February 2018 in Diary

The shadow international trade secretary has previously argued that a customs union agreement would be 'deeply unattractive'.

Ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s big speech setting out his approach to Brexit, Labour HQ deployed an unlikely figure as his warm-up man.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry ‘the Constant’ Gardiner went on the Today programme as the Labour leader was expected to back the UK being in a permanent customs union with the European Union.

Even though Gardiner is on record as opposing the customs union.

As he appeared on The Today programme, the Labour MP was confronted with his past remarks about membership of the customs union - and complained that he was being selectively quoted.

For the record, in an article for The Guardian last year, Gardiner stated: "Some have suggested we should retain membership of the customs union, the benefits of which extend to goods rather than services, and establish common import tariffs with respect to the rest of the world. But that is not possible."

And he went on the state that: "As a transitional phase, a customs union agreement might be thought to have some merit. However, as an end point it is deeply unattractive. It would preclude us from making our own independent trade agreements with our five largest export markets outside the EU (the US, China, Japan, Australia and the Gulf states)."

As well as being quizzed about his previous comments, Gardiner was also asked if Labour's policy shift could allow it to side with Tory rebels and bring down the government.

He replied enigmatically: "I don't know what it would lead to. I don't think anybody does."







Picture by: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment



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