The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has slammed Jeremy Corbyn of offering a “command and control” approach to business instead of a partnership after the leader of the Labour Party addressed its annual conference earlier today.
Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general, said that the firms had made an offer to the Labour Party to work with business to create a “truly competitive and fair country.”
Corbyn informed the conference that his party had enjoyed a “constructive” relationship with the CBI, but Fairbairn appeared to pour cold water on Corbyn’s idea of their future relationship.”
She stated: “From rigid employment rules to blunt public ownership, the Labour approach sounds more command and control, than partnership. This is not the change that is needed.”
She added: “Labour and business do share an ambition to tackle inequality, but the way to achieve this is through collaboration based on the belief that enterprise is a force for good.”
At his appearance at the CBI conference, Corbyn recommitted to making the companies give up 10 percent of their shares to workers. It also opened the door to a second Brexit referendum if his party would not be able to force a general election.
He stated: “Labour has always said we respect the result of the referendum, but we cannot respect the shambolic way in which this government has bungled these vital negotiations.”
He said that the Labour Party would be voting against the Brexit deal of the government.
He stated: “If the government cannot get its central policy through parliament, then we will demand a general election. But if we cannot secure a general election, then we have been clear that all options must remain on the table, including a public vote.”
The Labour leader has seemed to be lukewarm to the idea of a second referendum. He has previously informed the German media that Brexit “can’t be stopped.” His comments has put him at odds with a number of his own MPs, including Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary who said that any second vote must contain the option to stay in the European Union.
While Corbyn suggested that the Brexit position of his party was closely aligned with that of the CBI’s because of a mutual preference for a relationship that is based on membership of a customs union and single market, Fairbairn suggested that any backtracking in the discussions would not be welcomed by businesses which are “desperate to move forwards.”
She stated: “Firms wants a new relationship based on frictionless trade, services access and a say for the UK over future rules.”
“This is the real prize.
She added: “The deal currently on the table opens up this potential, and the last thing businesses want is to go backwards. The government’s deal is not perfect, but with four months to go and the potential of no deal looming progress must be made.”