EXCL Lib Dems are like 'the Taliban' over bid to scrap Brexit, says Emily Thornberry

Posted On: 
19th September 2019

Emily Thornberry has compared the Lib Dems to the Taliban over the party's plan to scrap Brexit without another referendum.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Shadow Foreign Secretary said a second poll was "the only democratic way" to decide whether the UK should ultimately leave the European Union.

In an interview with The House magazine ahead of the Labour conference in Brighton, Ms Thornberry also said she hopes her party will take a pro-Remain stance in its general election manifesto.

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The Islington South MP has led calls for Labour to back a second referendum - and repeatedly said she would vote Remain if it ever happened.

At the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth, delegates endorsed leader Jo Swinson's call for Brexit to be cancelled if the party wins a majority at the next election.

But Ms Thornberry said: "The Lib Dems have gotten kind of Taliban, haven’t they? They’ve said they’re just going to revoke, there’s not going to be another referendum.

"I don’t think it’s very democratic to seek to overturn a referendum without asking the people first. I really think the only democratic way to get through this and to break the logjam is to go back to the people and trust their good sense."

Labour's conference is set to be dominated by calls by members for the party to say it will back Remain in any future EU referendum.

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour negotiate its own Brexit deal if it forms the next government, and suggested that in the resulting referendum, he would remain neutral.

Ms Thornberry said: "It’s obviously important for us to go back to the membership at a time like this and ask them what’s the best way through.

"I will certainly be putting the case that we should have a referendum, we should give the people a decent choice on leaving the European Union, but that we should campaign to Remain. Not everyone agrees with me, so we need to thrash it out. The party has to decide collectively."