Labour Party members have voted to back a future Labour government renegotiating a soft Brexit treaty and then putting that deal against Remain in a second referendum.
On Monday night, members voted during the party conference in Brighton to approve Jeremy Corbyn’s position of holding a second referendum “between a credible leave option and remain” and opposing a no deal Brexit, with the position to be adopted by the party in his next manifesto.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) statement said that if there is a victory for Labour at a snap General Election before Brexit Day, Mr Corbyn would negotiate a new treaty with the EU which would “include a new UK-EU customs union” and “a close relationship with the Single Market” — a super-soft Brexit deal that is Brexit in name only.
“If people vote to leave on those terms, Labour will deliver that and leave the EU with that negotiated deal. If people vote to remain, Labour would implement that and seek to reform the EU as members,” the statement said.
There was uproar in conference hall, however, after NEC chairman Wendy Nichols called as passed the motion to make Remain the party’s official position in a second referendum, correcting herself that it had not, the NEC adding in its statement that the party would declare how the party will “campaign in such a referendum – through a one-day special conference, following the election of a Labour Government”.
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A shadow cabinet source told The Telegraph the result on the Remain position was an “establishment stitch up”. Senior members of the party including Emily Thornberry, Tom Watson, and Sir Keir Starmer want Labour to unequivocally back Remain, with Thornberry saying Labour must become the party of Remain and “strive day and night, whatever it takes, to keep Britain in the EU”.
However, this does not represent neutrality on the Brexit issue from Corbyn, but attempts by the clearly Remain party from declaring its position as if to maintain support from Labour Leavers in the face of a possible autumn snap election.
Labour had made unexpected gains in the 2017 election, and while having campaigned personally for Remain and his party backing staying in the EU, Mr Corbyn pledged in his manifesto to respect the result of the referendum by delivering Brexit. Pressure from the dominant Remain voices in the party resulted two years later, in July, with the leftist announcing he would back a second referendum — a betrayal of the five million Labour Leavers in south Wales, the North of England, and the Midlands who voted for Corbyn believing he would take the UK out of the EU.
Speaking to Breitbart London, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said that despite Corbyn “sitting on the fence… the entire rest of the front bench are outright Remain. The Labour Party is now a Remain party.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 23, 2019