Jeremy Corbyn insists now is not the time for Labour to back a second EU referendum

Posted On: 
8th June 2019

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted that Labour is not yet ready to fully back a second EU referendum.

Jeremy Corbyn in Peterborough with new MP Lisa Forbes.

Speaking in Peterborough following Labour's by-election victory, he said his party “is not at the stage yet” of calling for a so-called "people's vote", despite mounting pressure from MPs and members.

Instead, he said Labour's first preference remained a general election.

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Mr Corbyn said: “Obviously every party discusses its own position and its own strategy. I have said all along that we would put to Parliament our proposals on a customs union on a trade relationship and the dynamic protection of consumer and workers’ rights." 

“As our conference resolution agreed last September, we would then be prepared to put that to a public vote. We are not at the stage yet where Parliament has actually voted on that. I think it would be much better if there was actually a general election."

Mike Buckley, from the campaign group Labour for a Public Vote, told the Guardian: “Hundreds of [Constinuency Labour Parties] CLPs are already set to debate motions for conference calling for the party to back a new referendum, and to campaign for remain.

"We’re confident of winning in September – but would much prefer the party to shift now. If we don’t, we’ll lose more voters over the summer and we won’t be able to oppose no deal as effectively.”

Labour MP Clive Lewis, usually an ally of Mr Corbyn and a member of the Love Socialism Hate Brexit pressure group, tweeted: “We’ve blunted our opponent’s momentum with an overwhelming home field advantage. Now we must arm our activists with the radical policies they need to finish the job in the long slog ahead, including a public vote”