EU referendum: Jeremy Corbyn says he 'won't take the blame' if UK votes to leave

'Whatever the result - we have got to work with it'

Oliver Wright
Political Editor
Monday 20 June 2016 19:47
Jeremy Corbyn is interviewed by an audience of young people and Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam Monday June 20
Jeremy Corbyn is interviewed by an audience of young people and Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam Monday June 20

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last night warned he would not take the “blame” if Labour supporters tipped the balance in favour of Brexit.

In an interview on Sky News Mr Corbyn, who has been accused of running a lackluster remain campaign, admitted he was “not a lover of the European Union”.

But he insisted he wanted Labour supporters to vote to stay – although if they didn’t it was not the fault of his party.

“I am not going to take blame for people’s decision,” he said.

“There will be a decision made on Thursday. I am hoping there is going to be a remain vote. There may well be a remain vote. But there may well be a leave vote. Whatever the result – that will be the result of the referendum. We have got to work with it.”

Mr Corbyn also warned that the EU must change "dramatically" even if Britain remains a member.

Facing questions from a studio audience Mr Corbyn admitted that most people “do not understand” all of the implications of this Thursday’s vote.

But despite having voted against European treaties in the past Mr Corbyn insisted that Britain was better off in the EU than outside.

"It's a big decision,” he said. If we stay in Europe there are implications, if we leave Europe there are massive implications.

"But, it is also a turning point because if we leave I don't think there is an easy way back. If we remain, I believe Europe has got to change quite dramatically to something much more democratic, much more accountable and share our wealth and improve our living standards and our working conditions all across the whole continent."

Mr Corbyn said his support for a Remain vote was "not unconditional by any means" and set out a list of problems with the EU.

He said: "I'm opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is being negotiated largely in secret between the European Union and the US because it would import the worst working conditions and standards from the US into Europe.

"I'm also opposed to the way in which Europe shields tax havens - this country as well shields tax havens.

"And the way in which systematically big companies are exploiting loopholes in employment laws.

"So I'm calling for a Europe in solidarity.

"But I would also say that if we are to deal with issues like climate change, like environmental issues, you cannot do it within national borders, you can only do it across national borders.

"The refugee crisis has to be dealt with internationally, not just nationally."

He added: "I want to remain in Europe in order to work with others to change it."

The EU referendum debate has so far been characterised by bias, distortion and exaggeration. So until 23 June we we’re running a series of question and answer features that explain the most important issues in a detailed, dispassionate way to help inform your decision.

What is Brexit and why are we having an EU referendum?

Does the UK need to take more control of its sovereignty?

Could the UK media swing the EU referendum one way or another?

Will the UK benefit from being released from EU laws?

Will we gain or lose rights by leaving the European Union?

Will Brexit mean that Europeans have to leave the UK?

Will leaving the EU lead to the break-up of the UK?

What will happen to immigration if there's Brexit?

Will Brexit make the UK more or less safe?

Will the UK benefit from being released from EU laws?

Will leaving the EU save taxpayers money and mean more money for the NHS?

What will Brexit mean for British tourists booking holidays in the EU?

Will Brexit help or damage the environment?

Will Brexit mean that Europeans have to leave the UK?

What will Brexit mean for British expats in Europe?

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