'Brexit WILL go ahead' Jeremy Corbyn insists Labour does not back second EU referendum

Posted on Dec 29 2017 - 4:08am by admin

The Labour leader last night assured Brexiteers that his party does not want to stop the UK leaving the European Union.

But he said Labour will push for Britain to maintain a “good economic relationship” with the bloc’s remaining 27 member states.

His comments come after deputy leader Tom Watson refused to rule out the possibility of Labour backing a second Brexit referendum.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Watson said the “complex negotiations” taking place in Brussels mean “you shouldn’t rule anything out”.

Reminded of Mr Watson’s claims, Jeremy Corbyn said: “He did indeed say that, but our position is that we are not advocating a second referendum.

“We have had a referendum which came to a decision. 

“The negotiations are still ongoing, albeit well behind schedule, and we’ve set out the kind of relationship we want to have with Europe in the future.”

He also denied Labour’s stance on the issue was muddled.

Mr Corbyn said: “I don’t think it’s confusing. 

“What we are saying is we are formally leaving the European Union of course – that is the position.

“But we want to develop a good economic relationship with Europe and recognise the interdependence of our industries.”

In response, the Liberal Democrats accused Labour of “shirking their responsibility to oppose Theresa May’s Government” on Brexit.

Tom Brake, the Lib Dems’ Brexit spokesman, said: “The Labour leadership has constantly played a game of smoke and mirrors over their Brexit position.

“But here they are nailing their colours to the mast in support of hard Brexit. The public need to be given a say on the final Brexit deal.

“With Labour and the Tories marching together over the cliff, the people must be given the opportunity to exit from Brexit.”

Meanwhile, the Government has denied claims that Brexit Secretary David Davis is being sidelined in the negotiations with the EU.

Oliver Robbins, Theresa May’s EU adviser in the Cabinet Office, was reported to have played an increasingly influential role in the talks.

But a Government spokeswoman said: “This characterisation of the negotiations is wholly and wilfully inaccurate.

“The Brexit Secretary meets with his counterpart Michel Barnier at regular intervals to oversee the negotiations.

“In November they agreed their officials would maintain a constant dialogue so it should be of no surprise that senior British civil servants press the UK’s case as set by the Prime Minister and Brexit Secretary.”

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