Supporters greet Jeremy Corbyn at Hastings rally

Jeremy Corbyn with Hastings Labour councillors and other supporters. Picture by Ali Roark
Jeremy Corbyn with Hastings Labour councillors and other supporters. Picture by Ali Roark

The Leader of the Opposition visited Hastings yesterday evening (Tuesday, May 24).

Scores of supporters met with Jeremy Corbyn at a rally at St Mary-in-the-Castle as part of the Labour In for Britain campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn. Picture by Roberts Photographic

Jeremy Corbyn. Picture by Roberts Photographic

The visit was an opportunity for Mr Corbyn to put forward the Labour party’s case for Britain to remain in the European Union (EU), ahead of the referendum on June 23.

The Leader of the Opposition said he wanted to see a ‘reformed’ EU that worked for the people.

He added: “One of the greatest economic and social assets of Hastings and the area are the sea and its beaches. For centuries, the coastline has been the lifeblood of the community, providing income and jobs to the area, ceating a sense of community.

“Tourism to UK beaches earns the UK economy £3.6 billion per year, benefiting seaside towns like St Leonards, Pevensey and Bexhill.

“Travellers come here for the clean beaches, beaches that are now clean because of legislation from the EU.

“But I think we can go further. Instead of using the EU clean beaches regulations as minimum standard. I want the UK under a Labour government to make all our beaches safe enough, so that families are secure in the knowledge that a day trip to the seaside doesn’t result in a night time visit to A&E. A blue flag revolution from the party of the red flag.”

Mr Corbyn said in recent years many coastal towns, such as Hastings, have felt the EU has been ‘damaging their traditional way of life’, particularly with fishing.

He added: “I support a European-wide collective approach to protecting fish stocks. Without it we would return to the bad old days where our domestic fishing stock was diminishing so fast that there were species on the verge of extinction.

“The problem for the fishing community in Hastings and around the whole of the UK is not of the EU’s making but this Tory government.

“True to every value and principle of this government where cash is king, it has refused to protect our small scale and sustainable fishing communities. They’ve turned the UK fishing quota from a national asset into a cash cow.

“The result is that under this Tory government almost two thirds of the UK fishing quota is now owned by just three companies.

“For Hastings that means its small scale fishing fleet can’t get access to the sea, can’t create the jobs the community needs, and can’t contribute to the local and national economy.

“A Labour government, committed to reform, will support our domestic small scale fishing industry. We will treat the UK fishing quota as a long-term asset.”

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