Wednesday 28 February 2018 / 2:30 PM Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn to address MPs from 25 countries on working together for a world that benefits the many not the few

Jeremy Corbyn to address MPs from 25 countries on working together for a world that benefits the many not the few

In a keynote speech at the inaugural Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum today in London, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will argue that relations between Britain and the Commonwealth must be “reset” on the “basis of mutual respect, human rights and a partnership of equals”.

Corbyn will condemn the vision promoted by some powerful Conservatives of “Empire 2.0” after Britain leaves the EU, calling it “an insult to Commonwealth countries”.

He will also present Labour’s agenda for progressive aid, trade and tax policies. The event is organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, is expected to say:

“In Africa alone an estimated 50 billion dollars is lost each year to illicit financial flows. According to a report by the African Development Bank the illicit hemorrhaging of resources from Africa is about four times the amount of Africa’s current external debt.

“Zambian women selling sugar on their market stalls produced by British Foods’ Zambian subsidiary, Zambia Sugar PLC, pay their taxes. But the multinational company has had its Zambian corporate tax bill shrunk to little or nothing in recent years. Honest, hardworking women on market stalls can’t copy the offshore arrangements used by some global companies.

“We will work with tax authorities in developing countries, as Zambia has with NORAD- the Norwegian aid agency, to help them stop the looting. But we need to go further than this and look at the terms under which foreign investment flows around the world. Most of the UK’s bilateral investment treaties date back to the 1980s and ‘90s and are in urgent need of revision.

“That is why Labour is committed to review these historic investment treaties and ensure they are fit for the 21st century: rebalancing the rights and responsibilities of investors to ensure that host communities can genuinely benefit from the opportunities that foreign investment provides. In particular, we have affirmed our opposition to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms in our investment relations with other countries.”