UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of wanting to “hijack Brexit” and use it as an opportunity to deregulate UK markets.
As the UK election campaigns got underway, Corbyn said his rival wanted to “unleash Thatcherism on steroids” once the country was no longer bound by EU trading treaties and regulations.
Speaking in Harrow, London, Corbyn also said that the UK’s free healthcare service was “not for sale.” He said that Johnson wants to strike a trade deal with US President Donald Trump to sell off parts of the UK’s National Health Service, or make it easier for US pharmaceutical firms and medical companies to sell into the UK healthcare market.
Jeremy Corbyn listens to a crowd chanting “not for sale” about the UK’s free National Health Service
“They want a race to the bottom in standards and protections. They want to move us towards a more deregulated American model of how to run the economy” said Corbyn.
The Conservative party has continually rebuked this claim, however leaked documents published by UK news site the Guardian on Tuesday advise lawmakers against pledging that a trade deal on the NHS will not be signed.
How have the other parties started their campaigns?
The UK’s other main political parties’ campaigns got underway on Tuesday as well.
The right-of-center Conservative party’s campaign got off to a bumpy start as one of its ministers and leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, was forced to apologize on Tuesday after saying residents who died in a tragic tower block blaze should have used “common sense.”
Up until now the party’s leader, Johnson, has yet to show his face on the campaign trail.
The Liberal Democrats’ leader, Jo Swinson kicked off her party’s campaign speaking on UK state broadcaster BBC news, saying her party should be included in the leaders television debates on ITV. Swinson said her party will represent the voices of those who want to remain in the EU.
The UK parliament held its last session on Tuesday after UK lawmakers voted to hold an election on December 12 — an unusual time for elections to take place in the UK— in a bid to break the stalemate over Brexit.
What is Thatcherism?
Margaret Thatcher was the Conservative Party Prime Minister. She carried out a particularly hard and relentless style of deregulation and privatization was known as Thatcherism.
Thatcher once made a famous speech at Fontainbleau in 1984 demanding a reversal of a European Council budget from France and Germany, but she was a key supporter of the European single market.