Labour rule out cross-party Brexit modification

Lester Mason
January 14, 2018

The Labour leader said his party were not in favour of another vote at the moment - but wouldn't be drawn on whether he would stick to it in future.

Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Nicola Sturgeon's plea to support the United Kingdom staying in the European Union single market ahead of her government publishing an analysis arguing that membership would mean the "least damaging" Brexit.

Corbyn also said there would "obviously" have to be a customs union with the EU after Brexit but claimed there could be no membership of the Single Market.

Asked about a second referendum on any Brexit deal, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "If 90% of the population was now saying we must stay in the European Union and we must not leave then that would be a challenge that would be there for all of us who are democrats". So I don't quite understand why she [Nicola Sturgeon] would keep saying join the Single Market, when leaving the European Union means you leave the Single Market.

When it was put to Mr Corbyn that he was not saying he would never support another referendum, the Labour leader said: "We are not calling for one either".

Corbyn added: "The single market is a dependant on membership of the EU".

"The objective of the Withdrawal Bill is to provide a functioning statute book on the day we leave the European Union, not to pursue policy choices like this".

"But at the moment, and as things now stand, we proceed in good faith, we do as we are instructed".

"As for a second referendum, the question is are you talking about the divorce or the final relationship, because the final relationship will be agreed in many years' time", she said.

Talks of a second Brexit referendum were reignited when pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage suggested a new vote could "silence" Remainers.

Within hours, Mr Farage appeared to row back, insisting he didn't want a second referendum and was merely trying to galvanise Leave campaigners to the inevitably of one.

"With Labour, there would be a majority in the Commons for single market membership, but not without us".

He said if the Labour leadership committed to staying in the trading arrangement it would be a "game-changing moment" in British politics as it would command a majority of cross-party MPs.

Deputy Tory Party Chairman James Cleverly said today: "Every step of the way Labour are trying to frustrate the Brexit process rather than make a success of it".

Lib Dem, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green Party leaders are tabling the amendment.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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