Jeremy Corbyn has called on the next Tory leader to hold a second referendum before taking Britain out of the EU – and said Labour will campaign for Remain.
Following a meeting of the shadow cabinet at Westminster, the Labour leader said that whoever wins the Conservative leadership race should have the confidence to put any new deal they negotiate with Brussels – or no-deal – to the public.
The move follows weeks of wrangling within the party over its position on Brexit – backing a second referendum only in certain specific circumstances – which was widely blamed for its dismal showing in the European elections.
Whoever becomes the new Prime Minister should put their deal, or No Deal, back to the people in a public vote.
In those circumstances, Labour would campaign for Remain against either No Deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 9, 2019
In a letter to party members, Mr Corbyn said: “Now both Tory leadership candidates are threatening a no-deal Brexit – or at best a race to the bottom and a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump.
“I have spent the past few weeks consulting with the shadow cabinet, MPs, affiliated unions and the NEC (national executive committee). I have also had feedback from members via the National Policy Forum consultation on Brexit.
“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.
“In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either no-deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.”
Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have said that, if they win the race for No 10, they would seek to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s withdrawal, but would leave without a deal if they failed to do so.