Jeremy Corbyn has said he will back giving people a final say on Brexit if Labour conference votes for it

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Saturday 22 September 2018 22:28 BST
Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Labour party conference in Liverpool

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will back giving the British people a final say on Brexit in a new referendum if party members vote for it at Labour’s conference this week.

The Labour leader said that while he had not called for it up to now he had been elected to “empower” members and would not “walk away from it” if they demanded a new vote.

Mr Corbyn also said he would join forces with rebel Tories to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit plans in parliament if they did not meet Labour’s tests, with The Independent reporting on Saturday that the party would then maximise pressure on the prime minister by seeking a motion of no confidence in the government if her proposals fell.

The Labour leader’s new comments on a People’s Vote Brexit referendum come as a new YouGov poll showed his party’s members overwhelmingly back one, while more than 100 motions relating to a new vote have been proposed for the conference in Liverpool.

He said: “What comes out of conference I will adhere to. But I’m not calling for a second referendum. I hope we will agree that the best way of resolving this is a general election.

“But I was elected to empower the members of the party.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, he added: “So if conference makes a decision I will not walk away from it and I will act accordingly.”

Labour plan to trigger early election if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is defeated in parliament

The Independent has been campaigning for the British public to have a Final Say on Brexit in a new referendum, with more than 820,000 people having signed its petition up to now.

At the conference this week more than 100 constituency Labour branches have submitted motions calling for the party to back a referendum on any final Brexit deal, with some kind of motion likely to be voted on.

If conference makes a decision I will not walk away from it and I will act accordingly

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile the poll commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign showed nearly 90 per cent of Labour Party members want another ­referendum, three-quarters would like to see a commitment in Labour’s manifesto, and 93 per cent would vote to stay in the EU if they were given a chance.

Mr Corbyn also said he would try to use Tory Brexit rebels to force the prime minister into an early election, possibly by November.

To do this Mr Corbyn’s MPs and Tories from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ­European Research Group of ­Brexiteers would vote together against Ms May’s Chequers plan.

Mr Corbyn said: “That could trigger a general ­election and we’re ready for it.”

Labour is actually set to go one step further and launch a plan to force an election by seeking a motion of no confidence in the government within days of Ms May’s proposals collapsing, sources have said.

A motion of no confidence would also need some support from Conservative MPs to pass, but either way would act to severely destabilise the prime minister as internal pressure for her to quit peaked.

A senior Labour source told The Independent: “If Theresa May’s deal is voted down in parliament, then expect to see Labour come forward with a vote of no confidence within days.

“The party has always been clear that an election is needed, and we would push for that hard and immediately.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in