Jeremy Corbyn rules out second Brexit referendum in Labour manifesto

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Jeremy Corbyn has finally ruled out a second Brexit referendum after appearing to dodge the issue on several occasions today.

There had been suggestions that Labour could include the policy of a second referendum on the Brexit deal in their General Election manifesto.

However, a spokesman for the Labour leader said: “A second referendum is not our policy and it won’t be in our manifesto”.

The denial comes after shadow chancellor John McDonnell said on Wednesday that the Government should “put the deal to Parliament and possibly to the country overall” and Mr Corbyn dodged a question on the issue in his first keynote speech of the campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn previously dodged answering whether Labour would be in favour of a second Brexit referendum (Rex)

Labour was reportedly considering calling for a second referendum to win over Remain voters who may be tempted to switch to the Liberal Democrats, who have promised a national poll on the final deal.

Following his first major election speech this morning, Mr Corbyn was asked whether he was considering or would rule out a second referendum on any agreement reached after withdrawal negotiations with the EU.

But he appeared to dodge the question, replying: “The European Union negotiations are going on and we set out our (red) lines on the negotiation.

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“Primarily, it’s about getting and retaining tariff-free access to the European market.

“We haven’t threatened to turn Britain into an offshore tax haven on the shores of Europe, undermining the European economy.”

Instead, Labour wants a “good process by which we continue to trade with Europe”.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggested Labour would want a second referendum (Rex)

He added: “Walking away and trading under World Trade Organisation conditions will mean the manufacturing industry in this country would be severely damaged.”

After the speech, a spokeswoman for the leader said Labour’s position, backing a “meaningful vote” in Parliament, had not changed but once again did not explicitly rule out a second referendum.

Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin seized on the comments, insisting Mr Corbyn was sowing “chaos” which would “disrupt our Brexit negotiations”.

But Mr Corbyn’s decision to now rule out a second vote has not gone down well with Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, who said the Labour leader was letting down Britain by refusing to back a second referendum.

She added: ”If they truly trusted the British people – and wanted to give them a real say over the future direction of this country – then they would have committed to a democratic vote on any final deal.

“It’s a real shame that they’ve sided with the Tories on this and will plough ahead with Brexit without giving people the final say.”

Top pic: PA