Labour splits erupt as Keir Starmer defies Jeremy Corbyn to insist Brexit 'can be stopped'

Posted On: 
12th November 2018

A Brexit rift at the top of Labour has once again burst into the open as Keir Starmer defied Jeremy Corbyn and declared that the process "can be stopped". 

Keir Starmer has contradicted Mr Corbyn's comments about Brexit
Credit: 
PA

The Shadow Brexit Secretary told Sky News that Britain's exit from the EU could be reversed, just days after the Labour leader insisted it would go ahead.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel published last week, Mr Corbyn had said: "We can’t stop it. The referendum took place. Article 50 has been triggered. What we can do is recognise the reasons why people voted Leave."

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And the Labour leader last night urged his party to focus on how to "bring people together".

But this morning, Sir Keir contradicted his party leader, saying: “Well, Brexit can be stopped. But the real question is what are the decisions we are going to face over the next few weeks and months."

He added: "Decision one is on the deal, decision two is if the deal goes down should there be a general election and decision three is if there is no general election then all options must be on the table, including the option of a public vote.

“And that is the clear position, and Jeremy signed up for that, and I’m signed up to that, and that is the position that was passed at Labour party conference.”  

He added: “Jeremy and I… and the whole Labour party is absolutely behind the Labour party policy that was laid out in September.”

Labour's official policy is that another referendum should not be ruled out if  Theresa May chooses not to call a general election.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry caused more confusion on Sunday, when she told the Andrew Marr Show that Labour could still throw its weight behind another referendum.

Despite the contradictory remarks, senior Labour sources have insisted the party's policy on another referendum had not changed.