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Jeremy Corbyn Vows To Block Theresa May's 'Sweetheart' Deal With Trump

24/08/2017 7:55 AM AEST | Updated 24/08/2017 8:34 AM AEST

Jeremy Corbyn pledged to thwart Theresa May’s “sweetheart deal” with the US on trade as he savaged President Donald Trump for failing to condemn white supremacists.

In stark contrast to May’s muted reaction, Corbyn challenged Trump to call out the racism of America’s burgeoning neo-Nazi movement and tell his country: “We are one nation”.

Speaking exclusively to HuffPost UK in Stornoway on Wednesday, the Labour leader said he was “appalled” by Trump’s reluctance to criticise far-right protesters in Charlottesville who were chanting, among other things, Hitler’s “blood and soil” slogan.

Labour would oppose any TTIP-like deal that threatened to flood Britain with “cheap food”, he said, before voicing his hope the UK post-Brexit will become a pro-green, pro-human rights “force for good in the world”.

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

Corbyn said: “The response to Charlottesville was significant. We had a white supremacist group there with KKK symbols and Nazi symbols as if all the civil rights movement, as if everything that Martin Luther King stood for, suddenly didn’t count for anything.

 

“You cannot accept that in any shape or form and it is surely up to the president to say: we are one nation. I was appalled.”

 

The Charlottesville rally earlier this month shocked the world. It saw far-right protesters wave Ku Klux Klan flags in the street and quickly descended into violence.

 

Anti-fascism campaigner Heather Heyer was killed, and 19 others were injured, when a car mowed into the counter-march.

 

James Alex Fields, a neo-Nazi from Ohio, has been charged with second-degree murder of the 32-year-old.  Trump initially claimed there was violence “on both sides” and waited days before condemning racism. He has since hit out at the media for criticism of his actions.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Peter Cvjetanovic (R) along with Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville,

Corbyn went on: “The rise of the KKK and Nazis has to be challenged wherever it is in the world and I’m alarmed that [Trump] is threatening to go ahead with building the wall against Mexico, which is a very odd way of conducting a relationship with one of your neighbours.

 

“Now I don’t want to get involved in every aspect of what is happening in US politics internally but what I do say is that we want a trade relationship with the rest of the world that is fair and just.

 

“We don’t want a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump that is going to look a lot like TTIP.”

 

When the Prime Minister was asked about Trump’s response, she drew criticism for her reserved response.

 

She told reporters at an event in Plymouth: “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them.”

 

Corbyn said post-Brexit that he wanted the UK “to be a force for good in the world” and said he would not be afraid to “pick up the phone to Donald Trump” and criticise his decisions.

 

He said: “I want a foreign policy that is supportive of human rights and democracy around the world, that does challenge the USA when it wants to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord, that challenges Saudi Arabia on its bombing campaign in Yemen, and that is a force to support international law and the good that goes with it.

PA Wire/PA Images

“I want us to be that force for good in the world. We have a lot of abilities and experience. We can do a lot of those things.”

 

At a rally in Stornoway later in the day, he said: “We are determined to secure tariff-free access to the European market and to carry on trading at the same level as we do now. We can’t do anything other than that.

 

“We cannot leave the trade arrangements to Liam Fox and the Conservatives. What they are trying to do is a ‘sweetheart deal’ with the US, the equivalent to TTIP which will be damaging to labour standards in this country, will be damaging to environmental regulations and which will be damaging to the kind of society that we have.”

 

He added: “We also want to make sure that the quality of food that we eat is of the highest standard and we won’t allow Brexit to be used as a way of undercutting farmers and crofters and club Britain with cheap food of inferior quality produced in dangerous conditions in other parts of the world.”

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