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The News Line: News Corbyn stays silent over Second Referendum! Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn twice refused to rule out a second referendum yesterday when challenged during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. MPs are to vote on the Brexit Bill at the end of a marathon session in the House of Commons next Tuesday night.

Yesterday, in PMQs, May turned on Corbyn, saying: ‘Perhaps the Right Honourable Gentleman would like to take this opportunity of doing what he refused to do two or three weeks ago in this chamber which is to stand up and rule out a second referendum.’

Corbyn declined to do so, retorting ‘I thought this was Prime Minister’s Questions’, which drew the response from May: ‘I didn’t ask him a question, I simply suggested that he could stand up and say what the Labour Party policy was on a second referendum. And if he wants to enter this debate next week in the right spirit then he will do just that and rule out a second referendum.’ Corbyn again declined to do so.

Blairite MPs are demanding that Labour supports a House of Lords amendment calling for European Economic Area membership, but Labour says it will abstain on this – and is moving its own amendment making a government defeat much less likely. However, up to 70 Labour MPs are set to vote for the Lords amendment.

If it was an EEA member, the UK would get full access to the single market but have to pay into the EU budget, and free movement laws would apply. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Labour is seeking ‘our own more ambitious agreement’ referring to Labour’s amendment calling for Britain to have permanent ties to the single market after leaving the EU.

Right-wing Labour MP Chuka Umunna however opposes the Labour amendment and favours the House of Lords amendment. He said, ‘The only amendment that has any prospect of success on the European Economic Area, on the internal market as some people call it, is the amendment that has been sent back to us from the House of Lords.’ Corbyn has said EEA membership would make the UK a ‘rule-taker’ with no say in Brussels. The Labour Party is poised to openly split over the different amendments on June 12.


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