Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said Labour ‘must and will’ campaign ‘unequivocally’ for a second EU referendum in which the party backs Remain.
Appearing for the first time on a People’s Vote campaign platform, Thornberry said that staying in the EU was “logically” the best way to ensure jobs and the economy were protected.
The shadow cabinet last week agreed it would support a second referendum on any new deal, or no-deal, put forward by the next Tory prime minister, with the party campaigning for Remain.
But it left open the position the party would take if there was a general election, leaving the option that a Labour government could still seek to negotiate its own deal with Brussels to take Britain out of the EU.
But speaking at an event in Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, Thornberry said she was determined that voters should have the final say on Brexit.
“I stand here today and say to you that the Labour Party must and will campaign unequivocally to have that people’s vote, and campaign unequivocally to Remain,” she said.
“I want the British public to have the final say on Brexit. I want a new people’s vote. I will demand a new people’s vote. And I will campaign unequivocally to Remain.”
Thornberry also launched an attack on Johnson, the Tory leadership frontrunner, saying his promise to deliver Brexit by October 31 “do or die” represented a “serious danger” to the country.
“Boris Johnson has decided that when he marches us off a cliff in October, what will save us will be the warm and welcoming hands of President Donald Trump,” she said.
“But I don’t want Donald Trump’s hands anywhere near me.
“And I don’t want our country’s fate to be in the hands of that racist, sexist, bullying monstrosity of a president.
“I don’t want a trade deal with America, which means chlorinated chicken, and US health insurance companies invading our NHS, and raiding our personal medical health data.”