The Labour leader has been a long-time Eurosceptic, a point of contention within his party. He voted to leave the EU’s precursor – the EEC – in 1975 and voted against the Maastricht Treaty which created the EU as we know it. However, Labour supported the Remain campaign in 2016 and, since the Leave vote, has continued to suggest that a second referendum is an option.
Due to this, Mr Corbyn has been accused of not being clear on his position.
His ‘fudge’ on Europe, along with his apparent failure to tackle anti-Semitism within his party, has led many to question his position as leader.
It was during an LBC interview in 2015 that Mr Corbyn accused the bloc of acting “brutally” during the Greek crisis, accusing EU leaders of allowing financiers to destroy the country’s economy.
He said: “If Europe becomes a totally brutal organisation that treats every one of its member states in the way that the people of Greece have been treated at the moment, then I think Europe will lose a lot of support from a lot of people.”
In a Huffington Post blog he added: “There is no future of a usurious Europe that turns its smaller nations into colonies of debt patronage.”
The Greek government-debt crisis occurred in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash and resulted in the longest recession of any advanced capitalist economy to date.
In 2015, Greece had a referendum on whether to accept bailout conditions proposed by the EU that would enforce harsh austerity measures on an already struggling population.
These bailout conditions were firmly rejected by the Greek public, but just days later, the government agreed to even harsher austerity conditions with the EU.
However, the EU’s treatment of Greece was not the only thing drawing criticism from Mr Corbyn.
In the early Nineties, he was opposed to the Maastricht Treaty, which hugely increased European integration and laid the foundations for today’s EU.
The Labour veteran said the treaty would empower an “unelected legislative body” and reduce accountability.
He said: “The whole basis of the Maastricht Treaty is the establishment of a European central bank which is staffed by bankers, independent of national Governments and national economic policies, and whose sole policy is the maintenance of price stability.
“That will undermine any social objective that any Labour Government in the United Kingdom – or any other Government – would wish to carry out.”
He added: “The Maastricht Treaty does not take us in the direction of the checks and balances contained in the American federal constitution.
“It takes us in the opposite direction of an unelected legislative body – the Commission – and, in the case of foreign policy, a police Commission that will be, in effect, imposing foreign policy on national states that have fought of their own democratic accountability.”
It is Mr Corbyn’s history of Eurosceptic comments and voting record which lead many to believe his lukewarm support for remaining in the EU as being disingenuous.