‘Nobody is ruling out Remain’ - Sir Keir slaps down John McDonnell for People’s Vote comments

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer
Photo: PA / Stefan Rousseau

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer Photo: PA / Stefan Rousseau - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer has slapped down shadow chancellor John McDonnell – insisting that a People's Vote with an option to Remain is still on the table.


Starmer was asked by journalists about John McDonnell's comments following a Brexit fringe event at Labour party conference.

The shadow chancellor had earlier enraged Remainers within the party by claiming that a People's Vote could be held without the option to stay in the EU on the ballot.

However Sir Keir, who was present throughout the composite meeting the evening before, disagreed with McDonnell's comments. He said that no option had been ruled out.

'The meeting last night was very clear that the question of a public vote should be open.

'We weren't ruling out options and nobody was ruling out Remain.

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'There were 300 people in the room and that was absolutely clear.'

The shadow Brexit secretary's comments were supported by Labour Remain activist Andrew Lewin who helped compile the motion. He echoed others in saying it was 'significant step forward' for the campaign.

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He said: 'We deleted a line which said that any public vote would be, 'on the terms of Brexit'. In short, we explicitly rejected the idea that any future referendum could be between two different types of Brexit.'

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 solely on different forms of Brexit and increases the chances of a People's Vote.'

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