Europe

Corbyn Presents a Labour Manifesto That Offers ‘Radical Answers’ for the U.K.

LONDON — In a bid to re-energize his election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, unveiled the party’s most left-wing agenda in a generation on Thursday, vowing to tax the wealthy to renationalize large parts of the country’s utilities and railways, reduce carbon emissions, and pay for better health care and schools.

For all the focus on Brexit in the lead-up to the election next month, the release of Labour’s manifesto was a reminder of the yawning ideological gap between Britain’s two main parties. Heeding calls from Labour activists to embrace a more radical plan than it did in the 2017 race, Mr. Corbyn significantly increased Labour’s taxing, borrowing and spending goals.

Analysts said he was bargaining that anger at a decade of austerity, stagnating wages, unaffordable housing and the rising toll of climate change would motivate voters to kick out the Conservatives after nine years in government. While publicizing the plan in Birmingham, Mr. Corbyn said he welcomed the ire of Britain’s political establishment.

“I accept the opposition of the billionaires, because we will make those at the top pay their fair share of tax to help fund world class public services for you — that’s real change,” Mr. Corbyn said. He called his proposal “the most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades.”

But while some of Mr. Corbyn’s policies have proved popular with voters, he himself has not, a liability that analysts believe will be difficult for Labour to overcome next month. And even if the party erases its steep polling deficit and fares well in the vote, Labour is likely to need the help of smaller, more moderate opposition parties in order to take power, potentially hemming in some of its plans.

Still, Mr. Corbyn said on Thursday that “radical answers” were needed to deal with Britain’s problems, vowing to undo decades of privatization ushered in by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

The party proposed nationalizing the railways, water companies, the Royal Mail, energy providers and broadband services.

It intends to raise taxes by 83 billion pounds a year, or $107 billion, with the increases aimed at big businesses and high earners.

And it wants to put Britain “on track for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s,” the manifesto says.

The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has also made public spending increases a centerpiece of his campaign, putting him at odds with his own party’s long history of fiscal restraint.

But in other ways, Mr. Johnson’s government has turned rightward even as Labour veers to the left, pledging new police powers and reaching a “hard” Brexit deal with Brussels that envisions the country cutting ties with the European market in order to strike new trade deals around the world.

Conservative leaders described Labour’s plan as a “reckless spending spree” and said Mr. Corbyn had no plan for Brexit.

Mr. Corbyn, for his part, repeated what has become the go-to attack line of his campaign: that in Mr. Johnson’s zeal to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States, American companies will take over Britain’s National Health Service, an accusation Mr. Johnson has denied.

“We will never let Donald Trump get his hands on our N.H.S.,” Mr. Corbyn said on Thursday.

Labour intends to renegotiate a Brexit deal with Brussels upon taking office, one that keeps Britain closely tied to Europe, and then hold a second referendum, with voters getting a choice between that deal and staying in the European Union.

But Mr. Corbyn has not bowed to considerable pressure from all sides to declare what side he would take in that referendum.

While the Conservatives are campaigning on a tough law-and-order platform, Mr. Corbyn took the opposite tack on Thursday, pledging to close two immigration removal centers.

And he vowed to reckon more seriously than any previous British government has with the toll of colonialism, saying the party would “conduct an audit of the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy to understand our contribution to the dynamics of violence and insecurity across regions previously under British colonial rule.”

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