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Diane Abbott says she would back referendum on final Brexit deal in letter to constituents

Diane Abbott says she would back referendum on final Brexit deal in letter to constituents

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Diane Abbott has written to two constituents in the last month promising to argue in favour of a referendum on the final Brexit deal. 


The Shadow Home Secretary wrote: “I will argue for the right of the electorate to vote on any deal that is finally agreed”, despite the position being at odds with Labour policy. 

But when asked by the Guardian if the party's leadership would back her comments, Ms Abbott admitted the letter was "poorly worded". 

She said in her letter to two Hackney constituents the Labour party is “committed to retaining the best deal for all".

“I want to reassure you I am fully focused on defending the interest of the UK and I agree there should be parliamentary scrutiny and transparency."

However she later told the paper: “There is no important story here, just a poorly worded standard letter that was sent out. There is no difference at all between my position and official Labour party policy.”

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said during the general election campaign: “A second referendum is not our policy and it won’t be in our manifesto." 

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, whose party is in favour of a second referendum, welcomed the comments. 

He told the paper: “It is really encouraging that such a senior member of the shadow cabinet should come out for the Liberal Democrat position of giving the public a vote on the final deal.".

"I call on them to confirm that they back Diane Abbott’s new position. I also look forward to working with Diane Abbott to give the people the chance to vote for an exit from Brexit.

“If the progressive parties did work together to give the public a say on the final deal, we could, even at this late hour, still stop Brexit.” 

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