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”.
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.
“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.”