Jeremy Corbyn hints he would stay neutral in new Brexit referendum

PUBLISHED: 08:16 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:33 18 September 2019

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hinted again he would remain neutral in a new Brexit referendum.

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

He was writing for the Guardian ahead of Labour's annual conference, where Corbyn is expected to come under increased pressure to explicitly back staying in the EU.

The Labour leader said that the party would negotiate a new Leave agreement with the EU if it wins the next general election and then put that to the popular vote along with a Remain option.

Corbyn said: "A Labour government would secure a sensible deal based on the terms we have long advocated, including a new customs union with the EU; a close single market relationship; and guarantees of workers' rights and environmental protections.

MORE: Jo Swinson fails to mention second referendum in speech

"We would then put that to a public vote against Remain, and I pledge to carry out whatever the people decide, as a Labour prime minister.

"We are the only UK-wide party ready to put our trust in the people of Britain to make the decision.

"(Boris) Johnson wants to crash out with no deal. That is something opposed by business, industry, the trade unions and most of the public - and even by the Vote The comments appeared to signal that Corbyn could adopt a neutral position in any future referendum if he became PM.

A number of senior shadow cabinet figures, such as Emily Thornberry and John McDonnell, have said they would back Remain in a new referendum with McDonnell not dismissing the idea he could end up on a different side to Corbyn during campaigning.

Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield and a leading supporter of the People's Vote campaign, said that staying neutral is not an option.

"Harold Wilson, who took a back seat in the 1975 referendum, made it clear he wanted to stay in Europe. And it's clear that the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs, party members and voters - including in so-called heartland areas - want the UK to be inside the EU.

"That's because our outward-looking and internationalist values tell us that working with other countries across borders is the best way to tackle big challenges such as climate change, corporate tax evasion and raging inequality.

"At next week's party conference, our party will not only show that we're backing a People's Vote on a No Deal, a Tory Deal or a new deal agreed by a Labour government - but we will also show we're a party that recognises that any form of Brexit is not as good as staying in the EU."

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.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy