For the what feels like the first time since he became Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has committed to a position on immigration from the #European Union. During Corbyn's first speech in 2017, the opposition leader made it clear in the staunchest terms that he is "not wedded to the notion of free movement within the European Union" and "fully supports repatriating powers from Brussels".
Later this year, in March, prime minster Theresa May will trigger article 50 to set Britain's arduous exit from the European Union in motion. #Jeremy Corbyn's support of putting an end to free movement from European countries indicates that both the government and opposition appear to be on the same page. However, Corbyn's comments leave Remain voters bereft of any sizable representation in parliament.
Labour will press to repatriate powers from Brussels for the British government to develop a genuine industrial strategy pic.twitter.com/Rf6nHLd5Wt— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) 10 January 2017
A change of tack
Over the past several years, Labour, particularly under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, have alienated many working class voters with a metropolitan liberalism. However, Corbyn's speech is a clear attempt to convince Leave voters-many of whom occupy former Labour strongholds in the North of England-that Labour is still an accessible party for the working class.
Furthermore, Corbyn stated that Labour's primary aim in the European Union exit negotiations was to remain with "full access to the single market". Corbyn continued, specifying that Labour's economic demands were about "tariff free access to the single market" as opposed to membership in the single market.
A fair deal
Corbyn stated: "Not since the second world war has Britain's ruling elite put this great country of ours in such an exposed position without a plan. As the opposition, we have laid our cards on the table: we support fair rules and reasonably managed migration as part of our post-#Brexit relationship with the EU. Unlike the Conservatives, we will not make false promises to bring down immigration by tens of thousands".
Corbyn's appearance in front of the media was an attempt to re-brand the Labour leader in response to continuing low rankings in the polls. A further indication of this revamp came when Corbyn revealed a plan to cap government contractors' bosses earning more than 20 times the wage of their lowest paid worker.