Corbyn: It's time to abandon 'Remain' and 'Leave' labels

PUBLISHED: 14:25 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:38 09 May 2019

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigning for his party before the European elections. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigning for his party before the European elections. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Jeremy Corbyn used the launch of Labour's European election campaign to call for voters to stop using "Remain" and "Leave" labels, fearing the debate will be stuck in an "endless loop."

Corbyn said that there needs to be more "understanding" of the issues that led to the Brexit vote, said Labour was the party to tackle those "inequalities that helped fuel" Brexit.

He insisted the "real divide in our country" was not over Europe but over the likes of austerity.

He told supporters in Kent: "Some people seem to look at the issue the wrong way around. They tend to think the first question is Leave or Remain, as if either is an end in itself.

"I think they're wrong. The first question is: what kind of society do we want to be?"

Corbyn also said that the option of a People's Vote could be a "healing process".

He said: "The view we put forward, the party conference put this forward, the national executive agreed this, that we should include the option of having a ballot on a public vote on the outcome of the talks and negotiations on what we're putting forward.

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"I would want that to be seen as a healing process, and bringing this whole process to a conclusion.

"Nothing is easy in this. But our essential message has to be to bring people together, and that's the basis on which we've approached both what we've done in Parliament and in the negotiation itself."

The Labour leader took a swipe at Nigel Farage for the "toxicity in our society" he generates, saying that "we have to stand up against it".

He also criticised the government for failure to compromise on Brexit, and said that he still hoped the government would move on its red lines.

He said: "It's difficult negotiating with a disintegrating government with cabinet ministers jockeying for the succession, rather than working for an agreement.

"It's in the country's interests to try to get this sorted one way or another.

"The talks that we have had with the government have been difficult... because the government is in some degree of disarray itself."

- The European elections take place on May 23rd.

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