Jeremy Corbyn: I don’t know how I would vote in a second EU referendum
Jeremy Corbyn today admitted he does not know how he would vote if the country faced a second EU referendum.
The Labour leader said another vote could be an “option for the future” but said it was unclear what the referendum question would be.
And he refused to say whether or not Brexit could be stopped - arguing only that Labour did not have the numbers in parliament to block it alone.
Mr Corbyn has resisted calls to back a vote on the final Brexit deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels - although Labour has refused to rule one out.
Asked by Sophy Ridge about the possibility on Sky News today, he said: “I think it’s an option for the future but it’s not an option for today.
"If we had a referendum tomorrow what is it going to be on - what is the question going to be?”
Asked how he would vote if the issue was put to the public again, he said: “Well I don’t know how I’d vote. What would the options be at that time?
"But I wanted us to Remain in the EU, that was my vote in that referendum.”
Mr Corbyn insisted Labour could not support the draft Brexit plan Theresa May agreed this week - but he admitted he had not read “every last word” of the 500-page document.
He said instead that he had read “many summaries and many other analyses”.
The admission provoked fury from Theresa May, who hit back on the same show, saying: “He hasn’t even read it - he doesn’t even fully know what is in it.
"And yet he is saying he is going to vote against it. Why? Because he is playing party politics.”
Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis blasted on Twitter: “Unbelievable… Jeremy Corbyn admits he has not read the withdrawal agreement in full. He wants to vote against something he has not even read! Am beyond words!”
He added: “Having admitted he has not fully read the Withdrawal Agreement, how can anyone listen to Labour or Jeremy Corbyn & he doesn’t even appear to understand what Implementation Period is or when/how it is enacted.
Elsewhere, Mr Corbyn insisted Labour could take over from the Government if MPs reject the proposed deal and still have the time to strike a new agreement with Brussels which would retain the current benefits of EU membership.
“The EU is very used to 11th hour stuff,” he said. “Look at the way the Lisbon Treaty was negotiated, re-negotiated then re-negotiated again.
“The issue has to be you go back to Europe and say 'listen, our parliament doesn’t agree with this and doesn’t accept it. People of this country don’t. There are jobs on both side of the Channel at risk here'."
But he denied that his claim was "fantasy politics," saying: “We need an agreement. A serious, sensible agreement. And I believe the Labour options are the serious ones that could achieve that.”
Asked whether Brexit could be stopped, he said: “We couldn’t stop it because we don’t have the votes in parliament to do so."
It comes after his Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer appeared to contradict him by saying the UK withdrawal from the EU could in fact be stopped.