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Manufacturing sector needs continued links with EU, warns Corbyn

The Labour leader has visited the Bombardier plant in Derby.

Jeremy Corbyn has said it is “really a bit sad” that the UK has not had a conversation about continuing services shared with the European Union after Brexit.

The Labour leader insisted there should be an arrangement with Europe to ensure there still remains a form of customs union.

After Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney announced Dublin would back a request from the UK for an extension to the Article 50 process, Mr Corbyn said there has to be a “transition period”.

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Jeremy Corbyn is shown around the Bombardier factory in Derby (Josh Payne/PA)

Pressed on whether he agrees the process should be extended, Mr Corbyn suggested it “might be necessary” for the transition process to go on a bit longer.

Speaking during a visit to HS2 train bidder Bombardier in Derby on Wednesday, the Labour leader said: “We’ve got to have a deal, we can’t have a no-deal end to this process because the manufacturing industry and all the other services we share with Europe have got to carry on.

“Therefore there has to be an agreement and it’s really a bit sad that two years on from the referendum, we haven’t had this kind of conversation.

“What on earth has the Government been doing for the last two years?”

Asked whether Article 50 should be extended, Mr Corbyn said: “What we have said is there should be a transition period, and that was eventually supported and accepted.

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Mr Corbyn sat at the train driver controls during his visit to HS2 bidder Bombardier (Josh Payne/PA)

“Quite clearly it might be necessary to ensure that goes on a bit longer.

“What we have to do is have an arrangement with Europe, continue trade and we do not have a hard border in Northern Ireland which means we must have a form of customs union with the European Union.”

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