Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has distanced himself from calls for a second referendum. He said that it was an “option for the future” but not one for “today.”
In an interview with Sky News, Corbyn said that his party would be voting against the draft withdrawal agreement since it failed to meet the six tests of the Labour Party, one of which is that it must guarantee the same benefits as the current membership with the European Union.
The Labour leader also disclosed that if there was another referendum, he did not know how he would vote.
He added to criticism of the Brexit deal of PM May. He branded it as a “one-way agreement” where the European Union “calls the shots.”
Corbyn said that it did not “serve the interest of this country” and that it should be renegotiated by the UK government – something that the EU leaders have already ruled out. He said that the Labour Party would be concentrating on negotiating a permanent customs arrangement with the European Union in order to prevent the United Kingdom from losing out on investment, economic development, and jobs.
Corbyn seemed to be lukewarm to the idea of a second referendum. He reiterated his stance that Brexit can’t be stopped, a view that contradicts that of a number of his MPs who have supported the calls for a second Brexit referendum.
He has clashed with Keir Starmer, his shadow Brexit secretary, who has said that “all options must be on the table,” including a second vote with a choice to stay in the European Union.
Last week, Starmer said that threats of either accepting the Brexit deal of May or leaving the European Union without a deal were a “political hoax.” He also said that MPs were not duty-bound to vote in her favour.
In an interview with the the Observer today, he said that he was working across parties to prevent a no-deal Brexit by making some amendments to legislation that would make such an outcome impossible.
He stated: “There are plenty of Conservative MPs who have come up to me to say that they will not countenance the UK crashing out of the EU without an agreement.”
He added: “There is a clear majority in parliament against no deal, and Labour will work across the Commons to prevent no deal. On the government’s own analysis, over 50 changes to legislation would be needed for a no-deal outcome, so there will be no shortage of opportunities to pass binding votes on this issue.”
Meanwhile, Shami Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, informed the BBC that the draft deal of May was “the worst kind of bureaucratic fudge” that did not satisfy anyone.
She repeated the calls for a general election. She said that if the Labour Party was to assume power, there would be a “completely different atmosphere” in the discussions that would enable it to strike an alternative to the deal that was reached by May.