Jeremy Corbyn all-but rules out supporting referendum on final Brexit deal

Posted On: 
4th July 2018

Labour has effectively ruled out calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal Theresa May strikes with the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in the EU referendum.
Credit: 
PA Images

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said approval for the agreement should be "dealt with in Parliament" rather than the country at large.

Pro-EU campaigners say there should be a so-called "people's vote" on the deal to give Brits the chance to have their say.

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Pressure grew on Mr Corbyn to back it when the Unite union - Labour's biggest single donor - announced that it was "open to the possibility of a popular vote being held on any deal, depending on political circumstances".

But Mr Corbyn's spokesman made it clear that position did not have the support of the Labour leadership.

He said: "We’ve said that it’s not our policy to call for another referendum, that we respect and recognise the 2016 referendum result and we believe that any deal should be subject to a meaningful vote in Parliament. It should be dealt with in Parliament.

"The Government is unable to negotiate with itself, let alone the European Union. The situation is very serious in relation to its utter failure to negotiate properly and effectively on behalf of the British people a good deal for Brexit.

"The best way to do that is through Parliament and a Labour government which can negotiate a good deal for Britain based on our priorities, which are very different from there’s.

He added: "We supported there being a referendum and that referendum produced a result. What’s being debated now is the terms under which Britain leaves the European Union."

The spokesman's comments are sure to anger the dozens of Labour MPs who are campaigning for another referendum.

Shadow ministers have also been forced into embarrassing climbdowns after backing another vote.

Last month, Stephen Pound filmed a video urging people to "support a people's vote", only to perform a complete U-turn 48 hours later.

PoliticsHome also revealed in May that Shadow International Development Minister Preet Gill had tweeted her support for another referendum.

But she issued a clarification following our report, insisting instead that what she backed was "a meaningful vote on the deal by Parliament ... informed by the people we represent".