UK Labour Party considers new Brexit referendum at conference

Marco Green
September 26, 2018

Sir Keir won a standing ovation from a large majority of delegates, though some remained firmly in their seats.

Ms Long-Bailey claimed the party was keeping "all options on the table" - but refused to clarify whether that would include the option to Remain.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has so far played a canny game by allowing the debate to tie the government in knots while remaining ambiguous, but the time is nearing to reveal his hand.

Starmer, a former barrister and Director of Public Prosecutions, told delegates at the party conference in Liverpool that Labour would vote down any deal struck by May.

Without a deal, the United Kingdom would move from seamless trade with the rest of the European Union to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.

The chances of Britain holding a second referendum on Brexit just got higher.

"I think it's pretty obvious what party members are thinking at this conference".

Mr Corbyn backed his Brexit spokesman, saying: "Those are the words of the motion that was supported by the National Executive and the shadow cabinet and that is what is being voted on in conference".

On arrival in NY on Tuesday, Theresa May ruled out the idea of another general election before Brexit day, saying it "would not be in the national interest".

He has declined to reveal which way he would vote in a second referendum because "it depends what the question is".

Most of the party's half a million members voted in 2016 to remain in the European Union, but many of its 257 lawmakers represent areas that supported Brexit.

But there were signs of dissent within the party. Brendan Chilton of the pro-Brexit group Labour Leave argues that the party would "hemorrhage votes" if it tried to stop Britain from leaving the 28-nation bloc.

Speaking in favour of the motion earlier on Tuesday, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said the party would vote against a Brexit deal along the lines being proposed by May because it does not meet the "six tests" it has set, including guarantees on workers' rights and retaining the economic benefits of existing market arrangements.

"We will challenge the Government's terms for Brexit if they don't meet our six tests", Mr Corbyn said in broadcast interviews.

"The government would then have to go back to the European Union and continue negotiations, or they might choose to resign and have a general election so that the people of this country can decide who they want to conduct these negotiations".

"The priority, though, isn't the arcane wording of motions, it's about jobs and living standards".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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