Jeremy Corbyn says EU must change 'dramatically' if UK votes to stay in


On Monday night it was the turn of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to come under fire from a live Sky News audience. Like Boris Johnson and David Cameron before him, Corbyn answered a series of questions on his EU stance from both interviewer Faisal Islam and an audience of voters who were inexplicably sat in some sort of a cafe. Or perhaps it was a greenhouse?

What everybody really wanted to know was how Corbyn could back the EU after criticising the organisation for such a long time. Corbyn voted against the European Economic Community in 1975, has faced accusations that his campaigning for the Remain camp has been lukewarm.

He said: "It's a big decision. If we stay in Europe there are implications, if we leave Europe there are massive implications.

"But, it is also a turning point because if we leave I don't think there is an easy way back. If we remain, I believe Europe has got to change quite dramatically to something much more democratic, much more accountable and share our wealth and improve our living standards and our working conditions all across the whole continent."

Corbyn said his support for a Remain vote was "not unconditional by any means" and set out a list of problems with the EU. His speech received both criticism and support on Twitter.

So what would Corbyn change, if he were the one in charge?

He said: "I'm opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is being negotiated largely in secret between the European Union and the US because it would import the worst working conditions and standards from the US into Europe.

"I'm also opposed to the way in which Europe shields tax havens - this country as well shields tax havens.

"And the way in which systematically big companies are exploiting loopholes in employment laws. But I would also say that if we are to deal with issues like climate change, like environmental issues, you cannot do it within national borders, you can only do it across national borders."

And that's not the only thing Corbyn was eager to criticise - he had a few things to say about the Leave campaign.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Grant Way, Isleworth for a Sky News EU interview
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He slammed Ukip leader Nigel Farage for promoting a "bigoted" poster hours before the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, which showed a column of migrants walking through the European countryside under the slogan "Breaking Point".

Drawing applause from the audience, he said "desperate" refugees pose no risk to Britain compared to the threat posed by the "hatred" put on them by the likes of Farage.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage launching an EU referendum
(Philip Toscano/PA)

"The Syrian refugees are just like all of us in this room, they are fleeing from war looking for somewhere safe to go to," the Labour leader said.

"Surely that has to be a humanitarian response, not the bigoted response of putting up a 32 sheet poster which says a group of desperate people are somehow or other a threat to us.

"No, they're not, they're no threat at all. The threat is the hatred that is put towards those people by those people that put up that poster."