#Brexit - Labour says open to second European Union vote with option of remaining

#Brexit - Labour says open to second European Union vote with option of remaining

Jeremy Corbyn has not ruled out backing the Brexit deal Theresa May secures with Brussels, as he rounded off a Labour conference dominated by Europe.

And this was borne out by the barnstorming conference speech delivered by Sir Keir Starmer, the party's Shadow Brexit Secretary.

More than 100 constituency parties tabled motions calling for a second referendum, and thousands of People's Vote supporters marched through Liverpool to intensify pressure on Mr Corbyn.

The leader kept his options open on Tuesday, telling the BBC: "What we've said (is that) all options must be considered if and when this government collapses or its negotiations collapse".

Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer told Labour's annual conference that the party would vote against a Brexit deal along the lines that May is proposing because it does not meet "six tests" it has set, including protecting workers' rights and retaining access to European markets.

May has a working majority of just 13 in the 650-seat parliament and a former junior minister said this month as many as 80 of her own lawmakers were prepared to vote against a Brexit deal based on the Chequers proposals.

Britain's opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn will use a keynote speech Wednesday to present himself as the man to lead the country, but is expected to play down the toxic issue of Brexit as he tries to unite rebellious MPs.

The blunt way the prime minister's proposals were rejected prompted her to make an unplanned TV broadcast in which she demanded the United Kingdom be showed "respect" in talks.

"I don't know whether Article 50 will have to be extended or not", he said.

Sir Keir confirmed talks were taking place with potential rebels, adding: "There is a consensus in the House of Commons that this is not what anybody expected to happen and there is a consensus that we can not simply allow no deal to happen because of the failure of these negotiations".

Barnier himself tweeted on Wednesday that he was "working for an orderly Brexit" - Brussels-speak for averting a collapse of talks that could see Britain, and European Union businesses and citizens, plunged into legal limbo on Brexit Day next 29 March.

The motion's wording was agreed on Monday after five hours of intense talks and it disappointed many party members, who had hoped for a firm commitment to a second vote on a final Brexit deal, including the option to remain in the EU.

If not, Mr Corbyn said Mrs May needed to "make way for a party that can".

But, some Labour members say, Brexit is a sideshow for Corbyn, and he would much prefer to concentrate on Labour's manifesto, detailing how, if in government, the party would spend its 250 billion pound National Transformation Fund to reboot the economy.

"There's a wish not to rock the boat with too much "no deal" posturing", one European Union diplomat said.

"Of course, to a significant extent, this also depends on what Britain really wants - the discussion isn't so clear here", she said.

But May is sticking by her proposal, saying the "hard Brexit" proposed by some Conservatives would be "a bad deal" because it would not resolve the Irish border problem.

Related Articles