Long-Bailey says Labour will consider 'very strongly' option of revoking Article 50

PUBLISHED: 10:48 07 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 07 April 2019

Rebecca Long-Bailey on the Andrew Marr show. Photograph: BBC.

Rebecca Long-Bailey on the Andrew Marr show. Photograph: BBC.

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Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has said that Labour will consider “very stongly” the option of revoking Article 50 to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Asked if Labour would vote to revoke Article 50 to avoid a no-deal Brexit in the coming days, she said it was a “hypothetical question.”

But she added: “We have promised our party members and our constituents that we will do all we can to avoid a no-deal situation and it’s something that we would consider very, very strongly.”

That is despite Labour whipping against the option to revoke Article 50, as tabled by the SNP, during the indicative votes days before.

Reports in the Mail on Sunday claimed that Labour could be offered a deal involving a customs union as well as the option of a second vote, but Long-Bailey - who has been involved in cross-party talks - denied this was the case.

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that what was key was finding a “compromise deal” that the rest of the House of Commons could vote for, and that it must involve a customs union.

She said that “the overall mood is quite a positive and hopeful one”, but she added: “The sad thing is at the moment we haven’t seen overall any real changes to the deal, but we are hopeful that will change in coming days and we are willing to continue the talks as we know the government are.”

The teams were “keeping our diaries as free as possible” and “we have had exchanges with the government over the weekend, clarifying our position. They have been setting out theirs and hopefully at the beginning of next week we will be having further discussions”.

“But we are currently waiting for the government to come back to us now to state whether they are prepared to move on any of their red lines,” she said.

“We had great discussions and we went into a lot of technical detail but so far we haven’t seen anything from Government that would suggest they are prepared to change any part of the deal going forward.”

Asked whether the second vote should be a red line within talks or not, she said: “We’ve stated our policy position very clearly throughout these exploratory talks.

“Our policy states that we ask for one, and that in the event of a damaging deal that could damage jobs and our economy, or a no deal situation, that we should keep all options on the table and that includes a confirmatory public vote of some kind.

“So we’ve asked the government whether they would consider complying with our policy position and as yet we haven’t seen anything that suggests they will comply with that.”

She added: “We’re under a duty within our party to set out our position, the Conservatives have set out theirs. And we’re hoping to find a compromise.

“The critical outcome from these talks must be some form of compromise deal which will secure a majority in parliament.”

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