McDonnell doesn’t rule out being on a different side to Corbyn in People’s Vote campaign
PUBLISHED: 11:59 12 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 12 September 2019
John McDonnell has not ruled out the suggestion that the shadow chancellor could take a different side to Jeremy Corbyn during a People’s Vote campaign.
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McDonnell has already declared in any People's Vote he would campaign to Remain regardless of Labour's official position on Brexit.
But the former Eurosceptic Labour leader has not declared a position - insisting the party is instead looking to negotiate a "credible" Brexit deal to offer against an option to Remain.
The shadow chancellor told Sky News: "Our policy is very clear, we will reject a no-deal Brexit, we will ensure that the people have another say on whatever deal is agreed.
"But alongside that say we will also ensure that basically people have a credible option of Brexit to look at, and Remain.
"This is about giving people a say again."
McDonell said that it was still his view that the UK is better off remaining in the European Union, but the "people should decide".
Presenter Adam Boulton said: "So it could be like under Harold Wilson in the 1970s, where we could potentially see a referendum with you and Jeremy Corbyn on different sides of the argument?"
However, the Labour frontbencher dodged the question, insisting "the Labour Party's position in a referendum - whether we take a position distinctly or not - will be decided by our democratic processes through the party conference procedure."
Pressed again whether there would be a free vote within the Labour cabinet, he said: "The way in which we go forward will be determined by party conference - which is in ten days time - and then as we develop the manifesto itself."
Boulton asked a third time, whether there will be a free vote or collective cabinet responsibility, and suggested previously those decisions had been decided by Harold Wilson and David Cameron.
But McDonnell insisted: "We're a much more democratic party than the Conservative Party and democracy within our party has moved on as well."
He added: "There's a whole range of options - and yes that is one of them - that will be considered. We have to make sure our members have a say in this as well, we are a party of nearly half-a-million members and we want to ensure our members have a say in this as well, that's democracy, and that's what we're about."
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