LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn presented his position on Brexit yesterday in which a deal with the EU or Remain are the only options and breaking with the EU in a no deal is ruled out. It is this position that he will try and win support for this week at the Labour Party conference.
However, the right wing of the Labour Party are demanding Labour come out clearly in favour of Remain.
On the Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning Corbyn said: ‘If Labour wins power, it would negotiate a new Brexit deal in three months, which would then be put to the people in a referendum within six months, with the option to Leave or Remain.’
On Saturday, the Labour NEC split, while conference sat for its first day, over an attempt to remove right winger deputy leader Tom Watson. Corbyn intervened to ensure it did not happen.
Marr put to Corbyn: ‘There was a move to get rid of your deputy leader Tom Watson. At that meeting two of your close allies Rebecca Long-Bailey and Diane Abbott voted to get rid of Tom Watson. It was astonishing.’
Despite Watson’s attempts to oust him, Corbyn said: ‘It was a move that didn’t happen, didn’t work and I intervened to make sure that we have an open, democratic discussion about the structures of our party.’
Asked about his position on Brexit, Corbyn said: ‘I recognise that the majority of Labour Party supporters and members support Remain, but a significant minority voted the other way.’
Corbyn then refused to commit to campaign for a Brexit deal, even if he negotiated it with the EU himself.
He was asked what he would do if Labour won an election. Marr asked: ‘If you get what you regard to be a good Brexit deal with the EU, do you campaign for it or not?’
Corbyn replied: ‘We will put both views, and say, look, this is the best deal we could get … and this is the Remain option.
‘We will see what we get and we will put that final decision to the British people and make that decision at that time.’
Marr interjected: ‘At the moment you will stay neutral?’
Corbyn answered: ‘We will have a special conference to decide.’
Marr then posed to Corbyn: ‘Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary says Labour should stop messing around and lead the Remain side of the argument. We don’t know what is going to happen at this conference, but if this conference votes for Labour to be an unequivocal clear, single voice to Remain party, would you follow that vote?’
Corbyn replied: ‘Listen, I am leading the party, I am proud to lead the party, I am proud of the democracy of the party, and of course I will go along with whatever decision the party comes to.’
At the Labour Party conference yesterday Unite leader Len McCluskey was asked: ‘Labour’s position is to have a second referendum on any Brexit deal but it will not commit to how it will campaign in that referendum.’
McCluskey responded: ‘That is absolutely correct. The position that Jeremy Corbyn is laying before conference this week is that when he becomes Prime Minister he will negotiate the best deal possible and that will respect the 2016 Referendum. Once he negotiates that deal, he will take it back to the people on a confirmatory vote with Remain on the ballot paper.
‘He has also said that Labour would recall their conference to determine what position the Labour Party will take in that vote.’