EU Referendum

Corbyn: Don't blame me if UK leaves EU

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn says he will not take the blame if the UK votes to leave EU.

The Labour leader said he was hoping for a vote to Remain, but said this was "not unconditional by any means".

On a Sky News Q&A he said the EU was needed to tackle climate change and solve the refugee crisis - but called for it to change "dramatically" and become more "democratic".

He also said EU state aid rules would not prevent a Labour government from nationalising Britain's railways.

Plans put forward by Brussels would open up domestic networks to cross-border competition by December 2019, with mandatory tendering of contracts.

Unions say this would scupper Mr Corbyn's commitment to bring the railways back into public ownership - but he said Labour would fulfil its pledge if elected - "and if that means an argument, then we'll have that argument".

Vote Leave said the EU would "have the final say" on whether Mr Corbyn could get his way.

The UK votes on Thursday on whether to remain in the European Union or to leave.

There has been a renewed push in recent weeks by the Remain side to appeal to Labour voters, amid fears the party's core supporters are drifting towards Leave.

'Big decision'

Mr Corbyn, who has previously expressed Eurosceptic views, said he was "not a lover" of the EU which he said needed to change to "share our wealth and improve our living standards and our working conditions all across the whole continent".

Asked if he would shoulder some of the blame if Britain votes to leave, he replied: "I'm not going to take the blame for people's decisions.

"There will be a decision made on Thursday.

"I'm hoping there is going to be a Remain vote, there may well be a Remain vote, there may well be a Leave vote."

Told he did not sound "too keen" on the EU, he replied: "Whatever the result, we have got to work with it."

Mr Corbyn told the audience of young voters the referendum was "a big decision".

"If we stay in Europe there are implications; if we leave Europe there are massive implications."

'Work with others'

He criticised the proposed EU-US trade deal, saying it would "import the worst working conditions and standards from the US into Europe", and said Europe "shields tax havens".

However, he said that issues like climate change and the refugee crisis could only be tackled "across national borders".

He added: "I want to remain in Europe in order to work with others to change it."

Mr Corbyn also said he wanted to join other nations in challenging rules preventing state aid to the steel industry, saying national governments should be "assertive".

Vote Leave said leaving the EU was the way to help the UK's steel industry, adding that Brussels "works for elites but not for working families".

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