13/04/2017 09:55 BST

Brexit Will Let Labour 'Upgrade' The British Economy, Says Jeremy Corbyn

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Brexit will allow a Labour government to “upgrade” the British economy, create local jobs and reduce inequality, Jeremy Corbyn will say today.

The Labour leader will use a speech today to set out how he would use the £200bn government spends in the private sector to ensure companies protect workers’ rights.

Under the plan, all companies bidding for government contracts would be required to give full trade union recognition to their workforce and move towards a ratio of 20-1 between their highest and lowest paid staff.

EU rules require some services to be opened up to bids from outside the UK. Corbyn will argue that once Britain has left the EU local councils will have new powers to prioritise local firms when awarding contracts. 

“For years we’ve been told that there’s nothing that can stop the race to the bottom in the jobs market that is making people’s lives harder and holding back our economy,” Corbyn will say.

“Britain doesn’t have to be so meek, and settle for things getting worse and more insecure for so many. We can make the change we need if we understand the power we already have - and how we can better use it.

“National and local government spends £200 billion per year in the private sector. That’s an incredible purchasing power, which we can use to support the good companies and improve the behaviour of the bad ones that undercut with unfair practices.

“Under the next Labour government, Britain will subsidise bad corporate behaviour no longer. Our business partners should have the same values we as a country hold: enterprise, fairness, high-quality service and doing right by everyone.

“And while Brexit presents many challenges to Britain, it can give us more powers to encourage best practices and support new and existing businesses and industries in Britain. 

“While the Conservatives seem intent on using Brexit to turn us into a low-wage tax haven, Labour will use every power possible to upgrade our economy so we can all lead richer lives.”

Corbyn has used the parliamentary recess this week to unveil a series of policies.

Labour has announced it would introduce universal free school meals for primary ages children, bring in a £10 minimum wage and action to tackle the late payments of fees to small firms by large corporations.