Jeremy Corbyn urged to commit to permanent single market membership after Brexit

Allies Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn left with shadow chancellor John McDonnell

Mr Corbyn said a transitional period should last "as long as necessary" as he questioned Mrs May's suggestion it should be around two years.

Theresa May's hope of uniting her Conservative Party behind an agreed position on Brexit seemed to be in danger only two days after she set it out, with reports that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was unhappy about aspects of her proposed transition as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Brexit Secretary David Davis was scathing about Johnson. "Boris was there on Friday saying this is a good outcome, this is the right thing".

The most unlikely leader of Labour in its history, the one-time rebel socialist, is now seen as a prime minister in waiting.

"The supposed benefits of a clean break with the European Union are a fantasy".

"We have to recognise that in the future we are going to need people to work in Europe and people from Europe are going to need to work here", he said. Most of the people who voted Brexit will say to you we want a practical, upbeat, real, effective Brexit.

Corbyn's confirmation that he supported Britain eventually withdrawing from the single market and custom's union, came against the backdrop of a plea in the Observer newspaper Sunday from a group of influential Labour politicians calling for the party to commit to full and permanent membership of the EU single market and customs union so the Labour can offer a clear alternative to the governing Conservatives over Brexit.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has previously said that under a Labour government Britain would remain in the single market and the customs union for a transitional period of two to four years after Brexit.

Britain's revitalised opposition Labour Party kicked off its annual conference yesterday with leader Jeremy Corbyn set to lay out his party's agenda on Wednesday.

"We need to look very carefully at the terms of any trade relationship, because at the moment we are part of the single market, obviously", he told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show. "I think we have to be quite careful about the powers we need as national governments". Just a few months ago, the Labour leader and Shadow Chancellor stated that it was Labour policy to leave the single market - as to do otherwise would be to disrespect the referendum result. He argued that an agreement on tariff-free access to the market would achieve the same goals.

The Sunday Telegraph commented that Corbyn's suggestion of a seemingly open-ended transitional phase during which Britain would still be tightly intertwined with the European Union is likely to spark a fierce backlash from Brexiteers.



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