Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum
Jeremy Corbyn has said he would rather see Britain secure a Brexit deal than hold a second EU referendum.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the Labour leader said avoiding a no-deal Brexit was a higher priority for him than a so-called People’s Vote.
This is despite Labour members overwhelming backing a second vote, with a recent poll showing 72% want Mr Corbyn to throw his weight behind it.
However, this morning he reiterated that his party would be pushing for a general election but said if it couldn’t force one he would like to see a deal struck rather than another referendum.
He said: “My own view is that I would rather get a negotiated deal now if we can to stop the danger of a no deal exit from the EU on the 29 March, which would be catastrophic for industry, catastrophic for trade and the long-term effects of that would be huge.”
He also admitted that Labour would have to extend Article 50 were it to get into government before the Brexit deadline to give it time to negotiate a fresh deal with EU leaders.
He said: “Clearly if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is voted down and clearly if a general election takes place and a Labour government comes in - an election would take place in February/March time - clearly there is only a few weeks then between that and the leave date.
“There would have to be a time for those negotiations.”
Pressed on the party’s immigration policy, the Labour leader insisted he was “not against the free movement of people”, but conceded that it would have to end when Britain left the EU.
According to the Observer, Labour is readying its MPs for a no confidence vote next week in the expectation that Theresa May’s deal will be defeated.