Jeremy Corbyn opens door to second referendum

Pauline Gross
September 25, 2018

Labour's policy on Brexit is significant because of the current weakness of Prime Minister Theresa May's government, which lacks a stable majority in parliament and could face defeat by MPs if and when it brings a final deal with Brussels for a vote.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr as the party faithful gathered in Liverpool, Corbyn said he would be "bound by the democracy of our party" were members to vote in favour of a second referendum, although he added he would wait and see what wording would be put in front of the delegates after a meeting on Sunday evening.

Britain's main opposition Labour Party is preparing to vote against any deal Prime Minister Theresa May clinches with the European Union as it is increasingly unlikely to meet the tests Labour has set out, its Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer will say on Tuesday.

"If we are going to respect the last referendum, it will be about the deal, it will a negotiation on the deal", McDonnell told Radio 4's Today programme.

But like the governing Conservatives and much of the country, Labour is split over how to leave the bloc, with its veteran eurosceptic leader, Jeremy Corbyn, under pressure from many members to move to a more pro-EU position.

The 'six tests' comprise a series of metrics put forward by Labour's Brexit shadow minister, Sir Keir Starmer, that provide the party with a framework by which to judge their support for Theresa May's plans.

But the shadow chancellor infuriated anti-Brexit campaigners on Monday morning by echoing remarks made on Sunday by Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, suggesting Labour should not accept any referendum that appeared to question the result in 2016.

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Mr Healey, however, said: "My preference would be not have a second referendum".

"What Labour is saying is that if we can't have that then we need to be looking at other options". Mr Corbyn confirmed there will be a vote on the party's Brexit stance during the four-day conference.

Since the 2016 referendum, Labour has stuck to a policy of "constructive ambiguity" in a bid to appeal to both "leave" and "remain" voters.

Lewin added: "I wanted more for Remain Labour supporters and other grassroots campaigners, but we have a motion that effectively calls for Labour to support the EEA as a minimum, rejects the idea of a referendum exclusively on different forms of Brexit and increases the chances of a People's Vote". He has strong support among grassroots members, many of whom have joined since he was elected leader in 2015.

A senior Labour MP dismissed it as "loony tunes" to think that the Prime Minister would call an early election, despite the party leadership throwing their weight behind one.

A debate on a second "People's vote" was called for by over 100 constituencies.

But it remains unclear whether the terms of any motion will enable delegates to commit Labour to a referendum.

Other reports by GizPress

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