Corbyn Would Hold Second Referendum on Soft Brexit Deal vs Remain as PM

Jeremy Corbyn, opposition Labour party leader speaks during the Trades Union (TUC) Congress in Brighton, southern England on September 10, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn has said that if Labour wins the next election, he would renegotiate a Brexit deal even softer than Theresa May’s withdrawal treaty and would “give the people a final say” in a second referendum where the options would be the soft Brexit deal versus remaining in the EU.

Selling himself as a saviour of democracy by offering an alternative to Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “undemocratic manoeuvrings” that threaten to “crash Britain out of the EU” in a clean break or to the “undemocratic” Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson who aims to “overturn the 2016 referendum”, the far-leftist wrote in The Guardian that he will restore the power of the voice of the people by making Britons vote again on membership of the EU.

“The people of Britain deserve to have their say in a general election. Only a Labour government would end the Brexit crisis by taking the decision back to the people. We will give the people the final say on Brexit, with the choice of a credible leave offer and remain,” he wrote on Tuesday.

Corbyn then outlined that a Labour government would agree a “sensible deal” with Brussels, including a”new customs union with the EU” and a “close single market relationship” — essentially remaining in the EU in all but name. That super-soft Brexit option would then be put “to a public vote alongside Remain”.

“I will pledge to carry out whatever the people decide, as a Labour prime minister,” Corbyn said; however, the public confidence in him standing by his word is in doubt after coming out in support of a second referendum after pledging in 2017 to respect the first referendum, the decision of which has yet to be carried out.

The opinion piece comes during conference season and after Britain’s two largest left-wing parties, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, have been ratcheting up their anti-Brexit rhetoric.

Last week, media reported that the Labour Party is considering voting down the Queen’s Speech and pushing a confidence vote in an effort to topple the Conservative government, and if Corbyn is successful would attempt to have himself installed as a caretaker prime minister or call an election. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she would pull her party behind revoking Article 50 — the legal mechanism for leaving the EU — and cancelling Brexit altogether if she becomes prime minister.

Though the Liberal Democrats and Labour are swinging further towards leftist anti-Brexit extremism, their differing trajectories — the former stating it seeks to stop Brexit outright, the latter seeking to stay in the EU by forcing Britons to vote again until they chose either Remain or nearly-Remain — has resulted in a split in the Remainer movement, with each party attempting to outdo the other in terms of which is the most “democratic” and the most Europhile.

In Mr Corbyn’s article, he wrote damningly of Ms Swinson’s party, saying: “And now the Liberal Democrats want MPs to overturn the referendum result by revoking article 50 in a parliamentary stitch-up. It is simply undemocratic to override the decision of a majority of the voters without going back to the people.”

While Ms Swinson said during a conference speech that she sees Mr Corbyn as “Brexit by nature” who she criticised for the former Eurosceptic’s half-hearted 2016 campaign for Remain.

“Then the day after the referendum, he said we should trigger Article 50 immediately. He whipped his MPs to vote for it,” Ms Swinson recalled, adding: “Nigel Farage might be Brexit by name, but it is very clear that Jeremy Corbyn is Brexit by nature.”

While Corbyn has transformed from a Eurosceptic to the leader of a party that backed Remain, there are reports that he has been receiving pressure from the Blairites in his party to take an even more hardline, anti-Brexit approach and put the full force of Labour behind Remain.

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