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News > United Kingdom

Labour Leader Corbyn to Demand Second Referendum on Brexit

  • Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in London, Britain July 3, 2019.

    Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in London, Britain July 3, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 July 2019

The Labour leader said his party would campaign for remaining in the EU in the case of such a national vote.

The Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn Tuesday said that he will request the next British prime minister to put the Brexit plan to a second referendum on the European Union membership, adding that his party would be in favor of a remain vote.


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"Whoever becomes the new prime minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or no deal, back to the people in a public vote," Corbyn said.

"In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either no deal or a Tory (Conservative) deal that does not protect the economy and jobs."

By clarifying its stance on Brexit, the Labour leadership aims to avoid deep divisions that have shaken their party since the 2016 referendum, when the party ran an ambiguous campaign which was widely criticized.

Divided by ideological tensions, the British Labour has suffered a fracture similar to that of their society. Although the Labour grassroots militants are mostly pro-European, about a third of the party members support Brexit as they blame the EU of job losses and unwanted immigration.​​​​​​​

In the 2019 European Parliament elections, the left-leaning party lost almost half of its MEPs. This political defeat has pushed its leaders to rethink their position with respect to Brexit in order to stop further voter losses to parties such as the Liberal Democrats.​​​​​​​

Three years after the British people voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU, the two main parties are still deeply ​​​​​​​internally divided over Brexit, which opens the way for smaller parties to grab some share of the vote.

Corbyn's party has also been forced to respond to the pressure exerted by unions that agreed on a Brexit action plan on Monday, which supports a referendum whereby ​​​​​​​the British can vote on the U.K remaining in the EU, the agreement negotiated by the Tories and a no-deal Brexit.​​​​​​​

The successor of Prime Minister Theresa May, who resigned from her position in June, will be chosen by members of the Conservative party on July 24. So far, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson are the favorites to take over.

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