Jeremy Corbyn Refuses To Rule Out Supporting Second EU Referendum

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

In a speech to the Fabian Society's annual conference in London on Saturday, Streeting will say: "On the UK's future relationship with the European Union - the single biggest issue facing our country in a generation - we find ourselves in the awful position where it is the Labour party that now stands as the single biggest barrier to the UK's membership of the single market and customs union".

He said: "Once again the very top of Labour, this time Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry, have failed to rule out a second referendum".

He told ITV's Peston on Sunday: "The single market is dependent on membership of the European Union".

Asked if it was a rational position for Labour not to back a second referendum or the campaign to stay in the single market even though the majority of the party's members want both of those things, Corbyn said: "It is rational to accept the result of the referendum".

"The objective of the Withdrawal Bill is to provide a functioning statute book on the day we leave the European Union, not to pursue policy choices like this".

"The Single Market is dependent of membership of the European Union".

"I believe that there is a majority in the House of Commons for staying in the Single Market, if Labour gets its act together".

"At the moment... We proceed in good faith".

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Talks of a second Brexit referendum were reignited when pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage suggested a new vote could "silence" Remainers.

In an interview with The Observer today, the former Ukip leader said he was anxious Brexiteers could "lose the historic victory" they won in 2016 as "The Remain side are making all the running".

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer yesterday tried to play down divisions in Labour on remaining in the single market after European Union withdrawal. Following that, we want a final deal that retains the benefits of the customs union and the single market.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted that staying in the Market and Customs Union would be the "least damaging" option post-Brexit - and called on the Labour leader to get behind it.

Deputy Tory party chairman James Cleverly said the comments showed that Labour was trying to frustrate Brexit.

The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens will collectively back an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

On Saturday, Labour MP Wes Streeting said the party was now the "single biggest barrier" to Britain remaining in the single market and claimed a rethink by Jeremy Corbn would be a "game-changing moment" in British politics.

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