Mr Corbyn has declared his opposition to a no deal Brexit, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has poured £2.1billion into preparing for. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell last week even claimed he would send his leader “in a cab to Buckingham Palace to say ‘we’re taking over’” if Mr Johnson lost a confidence vote. However, Mr Corbyn has a history of Euroscepticism and has been accused of being unclear on his personal view of the EU.
Now, the Labour veteran’s long history of Euroscepticism can be exposed, right back to when he voted to leave the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1975.
The EEC was the precursor to the EU, which the UK joined in 1973.
Two years later there was a referendum on whether to leave or not, in which the British public voted to remain 63-33.
However, Mr Corbyn went against the grain to oppose membership of the EEC while serving as a local councillor in the London borough of Haringey.
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Is Jeremy Corbyn a Brexiteer? (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS / GETTY)
Jeremy Corbyn as councillor with Les Silverstone in September 1975 (Image: GETTY)
He later opposed further European integration in the form of the Maastricht Treaty, which created the EU as it is known today.
In a 1993 Commons debate about it, Mr Corbyn made his opinion very clear.
He said: “The Maastricht Treaty does not take us in the direction of checks and balances contained in the American federal constitution.
“It takes us in the opposite direction of an unelected legislative body – the [European] Commission – and, in the case of foreign policy, a policy Commission that will be, in effect, imposing foreign policy on nation states that have fought for their own democratic accountability.”
Jeremy Corbyn, 1984 (Image: GETTY)
On another occasion, he argued a left-wing government would not want to be part of a body like the EU.
He said: “The whole basis of the Maastricht Treaty is the establishment of a European central bank which is staffed by bankers, independent of national governments and national economic policies, and whose sole policy is the maintenance of price stability.
“This will undermine any social objective that any Labour Government in the United Kingdom – or any other government – would wish to carry out.”
Mr Corbyn voted against ratifying the Treaty, but was outnumbered by Europhiles in Parliament.
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