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Corbyn urged to rule out 'any kind of Brexit' as new Labour plan revealed

By Peter Madeley | Brexit | Published:

Tom Watson has urged Labour to rule out "any kind of Brexit" as Jeremy Corbyn attempted to clarify the party's stance on the issue.

West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson wants Labour to rule out supporting any kind of Brexit

The Labour leader has come under increasing pressure from his deputy to announce Labour as "the party of Remain", with Mr Watson this week imploring members to proclaim their support for staying in the EU.

Mr Corbyn has now said Labour would back Remain in any referendum on a Conservative deal, but made no reference to what stance the party would do in the event of a general election.

It leaves the door open to the possibility that Labour could still attempt to strike its own Brexit deal with the EU should Mr Corbyn become Prime Minister.

It comes after the country's biggest trade unions published a statement suggesting Labour should seek to negotiate its own Brexit deal, which would then be put to a public vote.

Mr Watson has become Labour's frontbench flag-bearer for Remain in recent months, a stance that has led to critics within his own party accusing him of attempting to undermine Mr Corbyn's leadership.

Commenting on the position taken by the unions, the West Bromwich East MP, said: "Remain is who we are. Our values are remain, our hearts are remain.

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"Today is a step in the right direction but our members and supporters are clear that any kind of Brexit gives us less than we have now and Labour should not support it."

Labour has come under fire from within over Brexit, with many MPs and members blaming Mr Corbyn's failure to shift towards a pro-Remain position for the party's woeful showing in May's European elections.

The Labour leader's apparent reluctance to nail his colours to the mast of Remain have been complicated by the fact that an estimated four million Labour voters backed leave in the EU referendum.

In a letter to members he said: "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."

He adds that Labour's alternative plan for Brexit represented "a sensible alternative that could bring the country together".

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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