General election would be ‘people’s vote’ says Labour chancellor

Lester Mason
September 24, 2018

The opposition leader has previously refused to publicly give his support to a "people's vote" on Theresa May's deal with the European Union, arguing he would prefer a General Election if the Brexit agreement fails to pass through Parliament.

Wendy Nichols, a member of Labour's ruling national executive committee who chaired the Monday morning debate at the party's conference in Liverpool, appealed for delegates not to boo when the results were announced, after heckling emerged following a separate vote on Sunday.

The Labour Party has become the first of the big two major political parties to back a second referendum if party members voted in favour of one.

And crucially any referendum would not include the option of remaining in the European Union, according to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

"We would vote it down if it didn't meet our tests in order to send the government, if it is still in office, straight back to the negotiating table and if there is a general election and we are in office we would go straight to the negotiating table".

The motion, which 1,650 Labour delegates will decide whether to accept or not, states: "Should Parliament vote down a Tory Brexit deal or the talks end in no-deal, Conference believes this would constitute a loss of confidence in the government". Mr Corbyn confirmed there will be a vote on the party's Brexit stance during the four-day conference.

'The most important thing is we deliver Brexit, it's about delivering an independent Britain; it's not about the deal, it's about being self-governing'.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said over the weekend that he would shift his weight behind a decision to stage another Brexit referendum, should his party demonstrate clear support for the move.

Mr Corbyn told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "Let's see what comes out of conference".


Labour deputy leader Tom Watson last night revealed he is now firmly backing "a People's Vote".

The decision comes amid the party's annual conference now taking place in Liverpool, with Brexit dominating the agenda.

He told the Observer newspaper that while he would prefer Brexit to be debated in an election soon, the members' views must be respected.

However, after a mammoth five-hour debate of party members and union delegates, Labour has made a decision to ask its members to back a complex motion which fails to rule out either a General Election or a new referendum.

May says she will hold her nerve in the talks, pressing the European Union to come up with an alternative proposal to her Chequers plan, named after the prime minister's country residence where a deal was hashed out with her top ministers in July.

He said: 'Our preference is a general election and then we can negotiate our future relationships with the EU.

Labour MP David Lammy described the motion as "farcical".

The scandal has deepened the divisions between Corbyn's far-left supporters and the more centrist faction of MPs who held power in the party after Tony Blair took charge in 1994. "But the reason we demand a People's Vote is because it unites 75 to 80 per cent of people in the country".

'What I'm struck by is there is a lot of Labour Leave voters who believe in Brexit so I think they are making a huge mistake.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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