LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted yesterday that whatever Parliament decides, Brexit should be put to a ‘popular vote’, and that Labour is still campaigning for a permanent customs union and he is going over to Europe tomorrow to put his position to the leaders of the EU.
He was speaking in a question and answer session after his speech to MAKE UK, the manufacturers’ organisation.
During the session he was asked about ‘The Splitters’, he said: ‘I regret that seven MPs decided that they would no longer be part of the Labour Party. I thank them for their work. I hope that they recognise that they were elected to Parliament on a manifesto that was based around investment, with a future based around a more equal and fairer society and social justice.
‘It is that programme I believe that we will be able to put to the electorate in the future that does have enormous support.
‘They were elected to carry out those policies and they have decided to go somewhere else, and I regret that because I want our party to be strong and united on the policies that we have put forward.
‘On the second referendum, thank you for your question. A couple of weeks ago I put down an amendment to the Prime Minister’s motion from the Labour front bench which included quite specifically the option at the end of the process of a popular vote on any deal which is reached with the European Union.
‘I put it down in line with the policy put forward by our conference.
‘This government is running down the clock and threatening a no deal exit from the European Union, which I think would be very dangerous and very damaging to our economy and jobs all across the country. We have made that very clear.
‘That is why we did get a backbench motion through Parliament which said that no deal should be taken off the table, and I see that as an absolute necessity that we take no deal off the table and we negotiate the way forward intelligently.
‘Which is why I am taking a delegation to Brussels tomorrow in order to put that forward.’
He concluded: ‘A no deal Brexit, would I believe, be a very dangerous cliff-edge and I do not want to go over that cliff-edge.’
When News Line asked the Labour Party: ‘Wasn’t this a change in Labour’s position?’ they insisted that this had always been their policy and that a popular vote ‘is just one option’ at the end of the process, and in that case ‘whatever Parliament decided would be put to a popular vote.’