Jeremy Corbyn forced to calm growing Labour backlash over his offer to help Theresa May deliver Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn forced to calm growing Labour backlash over his offer to help Theresa May deliver Brexit


Jeremy Corbyn is battling to calm a rising Labour civil struggle over his refusal to help a contemporary Brexit referendum, as a few of his MPs threatened to stop the occasion in protest.

The Labour chief was pressured to justify his intentions after his new supply to assist Theresa May ship Brexit triggered accusations that he had torpedoed his occasion’s coverage of preserving a public vote on the desk.

Amid rising tensions, Mr Corbyn wrote to occasion members to insist that occasion backing for a Ultimate Say referendum remained an choice – hours after livid Labour MPs accused their chief of serving to allow Brexit.

The backlash was triggered when Mr Corbyn wrote to Ms Might on Wednesday night providing continued discussions in “constructive method” with the purpose of “securing a wise settlement that may win the help of parliament and produce the nation collectively”.

Labour would help an exit deal if 5 situations have been met, he mentioned, together with a customs union with the EU and ensures on employees’ rights. 

The transfer infuriated anti-Brexit MPs pushing for Labour to again giving the general public the ultimate say on Brexit, with two suggesting they have been contemplating quitting the occasion over the difficulty.

Owen Smith, who stood towards Mr Corbyn for the occasion management in 2016, mentioned Labour ought to be opposing the “catastrophe” that’s Brexit.

Requested if Mr Corbyn’s letter paved the way in which for Labour MPs to help a Brexit deal put ahead by Ms Might, he advised BBC 5Live: “I believe that’s most likely proper. My worry is that that is the management rolling the pitch for accepting a model of Theresa Might’s deal, and I believe that will likely be at odds with our values and damaging to our nation and damaging to the politics that we’ve historically believed it.

“Brexit is a right-wing ideological undertaking and we ought to be opposing it on these phrases.”

Requested whether or not he would resign over the difficulty, Mr Smith admitted he was “contemplating” whether or not he might proceed as a Labour MP, saying: “I believe that’s an excellent query and I believe it’s one thing that I and many different individuals are contemplating proper now.”

Pushed on whether or not he might stop if Ms Might’s Brexit deal is handed subsequent month, he replied: “That’s attainable.”

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, one other supporter of the marketing campaign for a Ultimate Say referendum, additionally refused to rule out leaving the occasion. 

Showing on ITV’s Peston, she didn’t deny being a part of discussions a couple of breakaway occasion and admitted there was “a disaffection with the dearth of management we’re seeing on all sides”. 

Requested whether or not she would possibly stop, she mentioned: “I’m targeted on Brexit – that’s my accountability as a constituency MP.”

She added: “There’s many individuals which have many alternative challenges, not simply Brexit, by way of seeing management from all the primary political events.”

It comes after Chris Leslie, one other main advocate of a contemporary referendum, hinted that he might additionally stop, telling The Observer: “Lots of people’s endurance is being examined proper now. I believe there are some questions we’re all going to must face, particularly if Labour permits Brexit.”

With the occasion threatening to be engulfed by civil struggle over Brexit, Labour officers emailed MPs insisting that they had not dominated out backing one other referendum.

In a briefing doc justifying Mr Corbyn’s resolution to achieve out to Ms Might, they wrote: “That is per our convention coverage and the frontbench modification we set out on 29 January: that made clear there are two credible choices that Labour might help to stop no deal and break the present deadlock – both an in depth financial relationship or a public vote. This letter units out in additional element the primary of these choices. It does not rule out the latter.”

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, additionally sought to quell the rising backlash, telling the BBC: “What this letter does is to set out that the prime minister must abandon her Brexit purple traces. It doesn’t rule out the choice of a second referendum – a public vote – and Jeremy Corbyn goes be writing to members as we speak to reassure them about that.”

Sir Keir is seen to be extra beneficial than Mr Corbyn’s interior circle to the concept of Labour backing one other referendum.

Defending his supply to work with Ms Might, Mr Corbyn advised Sky Information: “Half of our commerce is with Europe, a number of our manufacturing industries are very frightened and really frightened in the mean time that on 29 March there will likely be a cliff edge. There can’t be a cliff edge and we are going to do all the things we are able to in parliament to stop this cliff edge exit.”

Man Verhofstadt: ‘We welcome the letter despatched by Jeremy Corbyn’

In an electronic mail to occasion members, he mentioned: “Labour can and should take a lead in bringing our nation collectively.

“We’re satisfied that our smart different, set out within the 5 calls for in my letter, might each win the help of parliament and produce collectively those that voted Go away and Stay.”

He added: “Theresa Might is unable to achieve a wise deal as a result of it might break up the Tories – and we are going to by no means vote for a nasty Tory deal.

“If parliament is deadlocked, then one of the best consequence could be a basic election. With out it, we are going to hold all choices on the desk, as agreed in our occasion convention movement, together with the choice of a public vote.”

That was not sufficient to reassure supporters of a Ultimate Say referendum, with MPs condemning Mr Corbyn’s supply to work with Ms Might if she agreed to satisfy Labour’s 5 situations.

Writing exclusively for The Independent, Streatham MP Chuka Umunna mentioned: “These assessments are nonsense and Labour’s coverage is far and wide. 

“Above all, the letter makes no point out of referring this again to the folks. The spirit of Labour’s convention coverage was that if we couldn’t get an election, Labour would decide to referring this subject again to the folks.”

He added: “The chief and people round him have made it clear they’ve little interest in going there in any respect. He has additionally tacitly given a inexperienced gentle to those that not solely gained’t help a Folks’s Vote however are additionally blissful to thwart the Home of Commons’ capacity to cease the UK crashing out of the EU with out a deal in 50 days.

“That’s the harsh actuality of what now we have discovered these previous couple of weeks. The occasion gained’t be forgiven by the following era.”

Mr Corbyn’s letter was welcomed by the EU, nevertheless. The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Man Verhofstadt, mentioned in a joint assertion with its president, Antonio Tajani: “Cross-party cooperation is the way in which ahead and I believe I can say that we welcome the letter that Jeremy Corbyn has written to Mrs Might to supply such a cross-party exit, I ought to say, to the Brexit.”


The Unbiased has launched its #FinalSay marketing campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the ultimate Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here



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