© 2018 The Author(s). Lensing of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) is now a well-developed probe of the clustering of the large-scale mass distribution over a broad range of redshifts. By exploiting the non-Gaussian imprints of lensing in the polarization of the CMB, the CORE mission will allow production of a clean map of the lensing deflections over nearly the full-sky. The number of high-S/N modes in this map will exceed current CMB lensing maps by a factor of 40, and the measurement will be sample-variance limited on all scales where linear theory is valid. Here, we summarise this mission product and discuss the science that will follow from its power spectrum and the cross-correlation with other clustering data. For example, the summed mass of neutrinos will be determined to an accuracy of 17 meV combining CORE lensing and CMB two-point information with contemporaneous measurements of the baryon acoustic oscillation feature in the clustering of galaxies, three times smaller than the minimum total mass allowed by neutrino oscillation measurements. Lensing has applications across many other science goals of CORE, including the search for B-mode polarization from primordial gravitational waves. Here, lens-induced B-modes will dominate over instrument noise, limiting constraints on the power spectrum amplitude of primordial gravitational waves. With lensing reconstructed by CORE, one can "delens" the observed polarization internally, reducing the lensing B-mode power by 60 %. This can be improved to 70 % by combining lensing and measurements of the cosmic infrared background from CORE, leading to an improvement of a factor of 2.5 in the error on the amplitude of primordial gravitational waves compared to no delensing (in the null hypothesis of no primordial B-modes). Lensing measurements from CORE will allow calibration of the halo masses of the tens of thousands of galaxy clusters that it will find, with constraints dominated by the clean polarization-based estimators. The 19 frequency channels proposed for CORE will allow accurate removal of Galactic emission from CMB maps. We present initial findings that show that residual Galactic foreground contamination will not be a significant source of bias for lensing power spectrum measurements with CORE.