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Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn indicates he could vote leave in a new referendum on Britain's EU membership

Category: Political News,Politics

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he could vote to leave the EU if there is another Brexit referendum.

Mr Corbyn said how he voted in any future referendum giving the British public a Final Say on Brexit, would depend on the withdrawal deal which is on offer at the time.

He gave a heavily caveated answer when asked if he is “enthusiastic” about the idea of a new referendum, and said that his party might back an amendment calling for one depending on its wording.

The comments from the leader of the opposition come after more than 20 of his MPs defied his will to back a clear call for a referendum in any circumstances last week.

Eleven of the MPs also quite his party over Brexit and antisemitism with eight going on to form the new Independent Group in the House of Commons.

Asked if he would vote to remain in a new referendum, Mr Corbyn said: “It depends what the choice is in front of us. If we’ve got a good deal in which we can have a dynamic relationship with Europe…then that might be a good way forward that unites the country.

“It depends what the relationship is that we’ve agreed in the future.”

Mr Corbyn’s frontbench is in talks with Labour backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson about potentially backing an amendment which would see a referendum called on a deal that is approved by parliament.

He explained that the amendment is being written and that he would need to see the exact “wording” before ordering whips to shepherd MPs into backing it. 

The Labour leader was shown a quotation from Mr Kyle who had claimed that Mr Corbyn’s team as moving towards “enthusiasm” for a new referendum.

Asked if he is “enthusiastic” he said: “I love the way he put’s that. That’s very nice. Yes, we had a good discussion. Yes, our conference voted on a comprehensive motion which is about all the issues relating to Europe, but our priority is to get a general election, but yes we do support the principle.”

Asked again he said: “I’m enthusiastic about getting a deal with Europe which guarantees our future trading relationship and protects jobs and industries in this country and I do think people should have a choice in that.”

Nigel Farage leads pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave march from Sunderland to London

Pressed again he named his priorities as avoiding a no-deal Brexit, protecting jobs and having a trading relationship with Europe, before adding, ”and a choice, a real credible choice that people can make on the future relationship with Europe.”

When a clear amendment backing a new referendum was put before the commons last week, Mr Corbyn whipped MPs to abstain. The motion was also not supported by the actual People’s Vote campaign, which argued that it was not the right time to bring it forward. 

But 41 of his MPs rebelled, with 24 supporting a referendum and 17 voting to oppose one. Five frontbenchers ended up resigning over the vote.

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