Labour frontbencher echoes Tom Watson in calling for Brexit referendum before election

PUBLISHED: 15:27 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:08 24 September 2019

Barry Gardiner appears on BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

Barry Gardiner appears on BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

Archant

Labour frontbencher Barry Gardiner has repeated claims that Tom Watson recently made - which nearly saw him ousted from the role of deputy leader.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

Barry Gardiner, Labour's shadow secretary for international trade, was appearing on the BBC's Politics Live when he said that wants to "resolve, finally the issue of Brexit".

But he argued that an election alone cannot do that, and that a second referendum would still be needed.

"There maybe one half of the country who may not feel listened to, because they haven't had their final say on the Brexit deal."

Iain Dale, also appearing on the programme queried what the Labour politician was saying, asking: "Are you saying you don't want an election until after a second referendum?"

Gardiner said it "definitely" was, before denying he had changed Labour policy.

"I'm saying there is a logic to holding a referendum to get the issue of Brexit done and dusted" before a general election.

Two weeks ago Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson made a similar call and nearly saw his position abolished by the NEC at Labour conference for "disloyalty" towards the leader on Brexit.

He said: "Elections should never be single issue campaigns," before adding: "The only way to break the Brexit deadlock once and for all is a public vote in a referendum."

But Jeremy Corbyn, at the time, said he did "not accept or agree with" his deputy's view.

He said: "Our priority is to get a general election in order to give the people a chance to elect a government that cares for them".

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said the priority first must be stopping no-deal Brexit.

"The priority for parliament needs to be preventing a disastrous no-deal Brexit. It would be foolhardy to allow the government to abuse an election timetable.

"After today's ruling, it's critical that the government commits to obeying the law. That begins with sending a representative to ask the EU for an extension to our current Article 50 deadline.

"Once that has been done we can discuss whether it would be more sensible to call first a general election or a referendum to end this Brexit crisis."

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.