The Labour Party MP said he feared Britain would become a “low-tax” and “offshore” part of Europe after Theresa May announced the UK would be leaving the single market in her Brexit speech on Tuesday.
Speaking to radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO, Mr Smith admitted the UK would be able to “survive” but remained doubtful over the country’s future.
He said: “Britain is a great country and we will manage whatever our circumstances, we always have done and I’ve got no doubt that we will be able to survive however this plays out. But I think there are good deals that can be done and there are bad deals.
Owen Smith has said he think the Government is "likely" to get a bad Brexit deal
Most people in the country I think didn’t know for example what the customs union was
“And my fear is, the Government is likely to get a bad deal and then resort to what I think a lot on the right in this country, including some of those people who were part of the Leave campaign, will be very content with, which is Britain being a low-wage, low-tax, high-flexibility – as they would put it – for workers, offshore part of Europe.
“And I think that that will be bad for people I represent in Pontypridd and not good for the future of our country.”
Hartley-Brewer grilled the politician over his stance on the single market and asked what he thought the public had voted for in the referendum.
May's Brexit speech: Europe reacts
Tue, January 17, 2017
Politicians and celebrities tweet their reaction as Theresa May unveils her 12 point plan for Britain leaving the EU.
1 of 9
The British Prime Minister Delivers Her Brexit Speech
“Most people in the country I think didn’t know for example what the customs union was,” he replied.
“Let alone the complexities of all the sorts of ins and outs of the relationship we’ve got on trade with the European Union – it is incredibly complicated, which is why we’re having such a big debate about it.”
Mr Smith, who challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership last year, then called for a second public vote when negotiations have taken place to be “absolutely ultra-democratic”.
“We now need to see in black and white what the bill is going to look like,” he added.