Thu, 19 May 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Press releases
By Women in Westminster

Angela Rayner suggests Labour may not take a position in second EU referendum

Angela Rayner suggests Labour may not take a position in second EU referendum
2 min read

Angela Rayner has suggested that Labour will not take an official position if there is a second EU referendum.

The Shadow Education Secretary said it was a "hypothetical" question when asked whether the party would campaign for its own Brexit deal.

Her comments came less than 48 hours after Jeremy Corbyn revealed he will remain neutral in any new referendum campaign.

Labour has pledged to negotiate a new Brexit deal within three months of winning the election, then hold a referendum on it three months later.

At the party's annual conference in September, delegates agreed to hold a special one-day gathering next year to decide how it would campaign in a second referendum.

Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show whether a Labour government would take a position on its own deal, Ms Rayner said: “Well that’s a hypothetical. What Jeremy’s said and he’s been very clear...only the Labour party is going to give people the choice.

“We’re going to negotiate a deal that will puts jobs, consumer and environment protections first, it will deal with the Northern Ireland border issue. 

“Within six months we’ll put that back to the people and the people will decide and then we’ll move on. But [with] the Conservatives we’re going to be constantly in this Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.”

The Labour frontbencher also dismissed claims that most of the party’s senior team and members back Remain when she was pressed on who would campaign for a Labour negotiated deal in a second vote.

“Some of the problems we have at the moment the framing of this is everyone’s Remain and that’s just not true,” she said.

“And actually the country did vote to leave the European Union and we said we respected that. We’re not going to be like the Lib Dems and just ignore that, we will negotiate a deal and we’ll put that back to the people and they will have the ultimate say and then we’ll move on.”

Meanwhile, John McDonnell told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge that Shadow Cabinet members would be expected to campaign in the referendum using their own judgement but he did not reveal which side he would choose.

Asked whether he will stay neutral in the debate, he said: “No I won’t, and I don’t think Jeremy’s asking people to do that. 

“I’ll wait until I see the terms of the deal that we negotiate."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Anahita Hossein-Pour - 'We had to fight tooth and nail': BAME parliamentarians talk representation and tackling racism

Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now