Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Corbyn prepares for struggle over Brexit referendum position

By Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter, in Brighton

Jeremy Corbyn is pushing for Labour to delay its dec..

By admin , in England , at September 22, 2019

By Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter, in Brighton

Jeremy Corbyn is pushing for Labour to delay its decision on whether to campaign for Remain or a renegotiated Brexit deal in another referendum until after the next election.

He is urging delegates at the party's annual conference to support the move, which the leader's allies insist have been approved in a vote by its ruling body – the National Executive Committee (NEC).

A source close to Mr Corbyn told Sky News it passed by 16 votes to 10, with one abstention.

Image: Jeremy Corbyn has defended his position on Brexit

Other major developments include:

  • Deputy leader Tom Watson insisted Labour must back Remain in another referendum, urging the party to "work positively together"
  • Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry warned Labour could lose 30% of its vote to the Greens and Lib Dems if its position is not clear on the EU
  • Labour members voted to support effectively abolishing private schools and redistributing their property to the state sector in the party's next manifesto
  • Police removed a banner outside the conference showing the leader of Israel firing missiles saying "defamation" at Mr Corbyn
Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer at the Anti-Brexit 'Trust the People' march and rally held by the People's Vote campaign during the Labour Party Conference in Brighton
Image: Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer at the anti-Brexit 'Trust the People' march

The row over Brexit will come to a head when Labour members vote on the party's official motion at conference in Brighton on Monday.


It says the NEC believes "the party shall only decide how to campaign in such a referendum – through a one-day special conference, following the election of a Labour government".

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and Brighton Council leader, Nancy Platt walk with young party members along Brighton Promenade for a staged arrival picture ahead of the 2019 Labour Party Conference on September 19, 2019 in Brighton, England. Labour return to Brighton for the 2019 conference against a backdrop of political turmoil over Brexit. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Back Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit or 'step aside', Labour frontbenchers warned

Jennie Formby, Labour's general secretary, emailed all MPs after the NEC meeting on Saturday to confirm it had been voted through.

More from Brexit

Unite union boss Len McCluskey, a key ally of Mr Corbyn, called on the party's senior figures to fall in behind the policy or "step aside".

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