If his Labour Party votes to pursue a second Brexit vote, Jeremy Corbyn will back it. Up to now, he has been objecting a new “People’s vote” on the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
“Our preference would be for a general election and we can then negotiate our future relationship with Europe but let’s see what comes out of conference,” Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, saying Labour was ready to vote against any deal.
“Obviously I’m bound by the democracy of our party.”
As reported by the Reuters news agency on September 22, the political landscape has changed since British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit were resoundingly rebuffed by the EU last week, with any outcome of the negotiations more uncertain than ever.
With talk of a new election swirling after May’s “Chequers” plan was all but shredded at an EU summit last week and chances of a disorderly departure that could damage the economy rising, the opposition party is under pressure to set the Brexit agenda, reported Reuters.
And if Labour’s Corbyn does come out with clear support for a second referendum, the pressure on the Conservatives to get any deal through parliament will only grow.
“We would vote it down if it didn’t meet our tests in order to send the government, if it is still in office, straight back to the negotiating table,” Corbyn said. “And if there is a general election and we are in office we would go straight to the negotiating table.”
In a separate report, FRANCE 24 online noted that most of Corbyn’s MPs and younger supporters are in favour of the EU, but many voters in the party’s working-class heartlands back Brexit.
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Denis MacShane, a former European Affairs minister, said: “In the last two years, Jeremy [Corbyn] has on the whole been in the same place as [Theresa] May. But now there’s a real debate after the very inefficient way she’s handled things”.
“People – with all the new facts, all the new evidence and all the new details, and particularly the very real worry of an economic disaster by the possible breakup of the United Kingdom – [feel] that we should have a second consultation, just as they’ve had in France, Denmark and Switzerland, when referendums don’t turn out to be as productive as people hope,” added the veteran Labour member.