LONDON (Reuters) – John McDonnell, the man who would be Britains Chancellor if the opposition Labour Party was in power, is speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event.
Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in London, Britain November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Below is a selection of his comments.
ON THE BREXIT INSTABILITY IN WESTMINSTER
“We just cant go on like this. We just cannot go on with this instability, uncertainty that there is in government, day by day and sometimes hour by hour.”
ON SUPPORT FOR MAYS BREXIT DEAL OR NO DEAL
“Whats coming out of it now, I think, is a lowest common denominator approach which is this at the moment a majority, by the looks of it, not to support the prime ministers deal that shes putting forward although that might change. Its difficult to predict, but also I think an overwhelming majority to oppose anything that smacks of being no deal.”
ON WHAT HAPPENS IF PARLIAMENT REJECTS MAYS PLANS
“Then we could be into a situation of a war of attrition within parliament of amendments to legislation taking place and uncertainty continuing.”
ON HOW MANY LABOUR REBELS HE EXPECTS ON BREXIT VOTE
“Thats a good question. There were five who voted with the Conservatives last time…they said no, well, well support the Conservatives now but not necessarily in the future… I think well hold our side now. I really do, and we have done on the votes this week.”
ON CIRCUMSTANCES AROUND A NEW ELECTION AND SECOND REFERENDUM
“(After a second vote on the Brexit deal) At that stage, we will be saying give us the opportunity, youre a minority party, give us the opportunity to take over and see if we can form a government, a minority but with a majority position in parliament. If thats denied us then we will be pressing for a general election but as you know you need that two-thirds majority its very difficult to get, anything could happen at those stages, at that stage then it is coming back to parliament then seek a majority for going for some second referendum, thats when the discussion takes place about the nature of the vote.”
ASKED IF HE IS A MARXIST
“Im a socialist. Im trying to rehabilitate the reading of Capital. I am a socialist. You just have to accept the roots of the Labour Party which stems from right the way back to Robert Owen and Cooperation and William Morris… and a raft other thinkers. But you have to insert Marx into that as well because I think its one of the best analyses of how capitalism works.”
ASKED IF HED BAIL OUT BANKS IN ANOTHER FINANCIAL CRISIS
“Under a Labour government, there wouldnt be a financial crisis.”
ON FINANCIAL REGULATION
“ We are going to come back with other ideas about further regulation, about whats needed for the future, to restore confidence because I think there is still a lack of confidence. But more importantly is I want to establish structures where the finance sector is playing its role in the policy development and decision making processes.”
ASKED IF HE THINKS HE HAS REACHED OUT ENOUGH TO BUSINESS
“No not really.”
“Were throwing everything we possibly can into dialogue, consultation, discussions etc. We need to be much more thorough in doing that (engaging with business) and much more systematic.”
Reporting by Sarah Young and William Schomberg; editing by Alistair Smout
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.