What is Labour's position on a second referendum?

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn challenges Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to a second referenmdum.

In a letter to Labour members, Corbyn said the party would campaign to stay in the European Union to stop any new leader taking Britain out of the bloc without a deal or to stop what he called a "damaging Tory (Conservative) Brexit".

They're now publicly endorsing a second referendum and say that if it's a choice between the current Conservative deal, no deal or no Brexit at all, they'd back Remain.

As the two Conservatives battled over who was the bigger champion of Brexit, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn shifted his party's position, calling on May's successor to call a new referendum on Britain's European Union membership, in which Labour would campaign to stay in the EU.

Corbyn said in a statement that Labour accepted the result of the 2016 referendum when people in Britain voted by a 52-48 margin to leave the EU.

Corbyn said Labour would campaign for Remaining in the European Union against either no-deal or a Conservative deal that does not protect the British economy and jobs.

In November 2018, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour would "inevitably" back a second referendum if it was unable to secure a general election, and at the beginning of this year, 71 Labour MPs said they supported a public vote.

"In our 2017 manifesto, Labour also committed to oppose a No Deal Brexit and the Tories' Brexit plans", he added, calling on the incoming prime minister to hold a general election.

"We have consistently called on the Labour Party to work with the community to implement training on antisemitism".

"I'll be your prime minister whoever you vote for", he said.

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So, let's be clear and ensure there is no ambiguity about how remain Labour supporters feel.

If the party gained power, after a General Election Labour would still try to negotiate a new deal with the EU.

Would a pro-Remain stance disenfranchise their core support?

"Labour will do everything we can to take no deal off the table or stop a damaging deal of the sort Hunt or Johnson propose", he said in an interview, making a reference to the possibility of a No-deal Brexit.

But what does this mean in practice, and will it quell the disquiet in the Labour ranks?

Simon Johnson, CEO of Jewish Leadership Council, said: "We do not support this booklet in any way as it was not produced in partnership or consultation with the mainstream Jewish community or any expert in antisemitism".

Labour MP Hilary Benn, who is also chairman of the Commons' Brexit Select Committee, tweeted: "This is a very significant announcement that will be widely welcomed in the Party".

Phil Wilson, a Labour former whip who backs the People's Vote campaign, said it was a "positive step forward" but urged Labour to unite with second referendum proponents across the political spectrum.

Would Labour campaign for or against its own deal, and therefore for or against Brexit?

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