Corbyn in Derry: 'Quite clearly for this city, infrastructure improvements are crucial'

Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised hugely improved roads and rail networks across Northern Ireland to deal with the consequences of Brexit if he becomes the next Prime Minister.

Mr. Corbyn was addressing the local Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast meeting with business leaders in the City Hotel as part of his two-day visit to the north.

He claimed a Labour Government would establish a network of investment banks in all regions of the UK to invest in infrastructure.

"Quite clearly for this city, infrastructure improvements are crucial," he said.

"You need better road connections, obviously, also better rail connections and better connections further south as well.

"If you want to develop trade elsewhere you are going to need an improved transport infrastructure.

"We believe very strongly in the Labour Party that we have spent far too little in investment in infrastructure over the past decades in this country."

Mr. Corbyn repeated his call to the local political parties to get Stormont back up and running and he paid tribute to all those who had worked toward the Good Friday Agreement.

"We believe that there is not a majority for any kind of hard Brexit and it has always been clear to me - even clearer after coming here - is that the idea of any kind of border, physical border, virtual reality border, technical border, whatever between Northern Ireland and the Republic will be very, very damaging to the economy and will be a reverse of all the progress ever since the end of the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement," he maintained.

"After all, it was in this very city that the Civil Rights movement was born and it was in this very city that a fundamental change for the people of N. Ireland came about. I pay tribute to all those that helped bring that about."

The Labour leader again ruled out Britain becoming a member of the European Economic Area after Brexit but pledged that the UK would stay in the Customs Unions and stay aligned to the Single Market.

"The demand that we should join the European Economic Area is not one that we support because it would still involve a degree of border between the EAA and Europe as there is at the moment in Norway and in any event, it would give the UK no say in the trade arrangements it would make."