Published: Sat, November 16, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

How Labour's plan to nationalise BT will leave shareholders out of pocket

How Labour's plan to nationalise BT will leave shareholders out of pocket

The move would bring parts of BT into public ownership, including Openreach which runs the UK's broadband network.

The letter points out, "Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Labour has come under formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for institutional racism against Jews. Only the government has the planning ability, economies of scale and ambition to take this on".

Under the proposals, a Labour government would undertake a massive upgrade of the UK's internet infrastructure, delivering fast, secure, reliable internet connections for everyone and putting an end to patchy and slow coverage.

The fund would also be used to restore degraded peatland across the country, the party said.

The rollout would begin with communities that have the worst broadband access, including rural and remote communities, followed by towns, then by areas now well served by superfast or ultrafast broadband.

Labour governments nationalized many industries, including railroads, coal, steel, energy suppliers and telecommunications after World War II as Britain struggled to rebuild its economy.

Jeremy Corbyn with Cat Smith, John McDonnell and Rebecca Long Bailey at Lancaster University this morning.


Boris Johnson has previously planned to give every home in the United Kingdom full-fibre internet by 2025 with a £5 billion spend but on Friday he downgraded this to "gigabit broadband" without a deadline, and he called Labour's scheme "crackpot". "People want to live in a attractive area but the jobs aren't there because the infrastructure is so poor".

He added that Labour's "radical renationalisation plans" means global firms are losing "confidence in the United Kingdom as a place to invest safely".

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Twenty-four British public figures signed an open letter refusing to vote for the Labour Party in the United Kingdom's December 12 general elections due to party leader Jeremy Corbyn's multiple ties to anti-Semitism.

"The internet has become such a central part of our lives".

"What was once a luxury is now an essential utility", Corbyn said.

"The effect of the Brexit Party on United Kingdom politics has already been seismic and I am proud to have been among its candidates who, contrary to popular belief, are not a group of right wing, neo-nazis but a genuinely diverse bunch of largely ordinary, decent people who believe in our country, its history and the importance of our democratic system".

Market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: "Putting to one side the costs of doing so, which will always be disputed whichever side you talk to, BT has put the cost much higher, this appears to be yet another eye-catching pledge by a political party". "There are small businesses that want to expand into rural areas that just can't at the moment".

BT, formerly a state monopoly until it was denationalised under Margaret Thatcher in 1984, is now in the middle of a huge project to roll out super-fast fibre internet lines throughout the country.

Asked about the reports, a spokeswoman for Labour said: "We didn't provide any guidance for them ahead of the manifesto and won't be for others".

The party says large parts of the country have been underserved in terms of both coverage and speeds by the current model and that its plans would lead to significant societal and economic gains.

It will also prevent the use of digital infrastructure for surveillance; and hand rights to individuals to protect access to and ownership of their data.

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