Labour MPs in Leave seats warn Jeremy Corbyn against backing second referendum

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Labour MPs in pro-Brexit seats have warned Jeremy Corbyn that backing a second referendum would be “toxic” to the bedrock of the party’s supporters.

Twenty-six MPs have signed a letter urging the Labour leader to “put the national interest first” and back a deal before October 31. They also warned that a no-deal outcome would “alienate” many who supported the party at the last general election.

Rother Valley MP Sir Kevin Barron, Burnley’s Julie Cooper, Don Valley’s Caroline Flint, and Rotherham’s Sarah Champion are among the signatories to the letter.


They wrote:

A commitment to a second referendum would be toxic to our bedrock Labour voters, driving a wedge between them and our party, jeopardising our role as a party of the whole nation, and giving the populist right an even greater platform in our heartlands…

Labour has a vital role to play fighting for a Brexit for the many, not the few. But this is a battle best fought in stage two, after the UK has left…

Rejecting any Brexit in the hope of securing a perfect deal risks the worst outcome – a no-deal Brexit. This would further alienate many who backed Labour in 2017…

We urge the party to put the national interest first, to back a deal before October 31.

The letter comes after reports that Corbyn may be about to change his party’s Brexit policy. A Labour Party spokesperson said:

As Jeremy said after the EU election results, he’s engaging in a process of consultation on our Brexit position

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  • Show Comments
    1. In the interests of democracy for both leave and remain voters, I think that parliament should come to an agreement on the best deal that would be accepted by the EU and then put that to the people against remain. Saying what you were promised is unattainable, this is the best we can get. Do you still want it or do you want to remain. No deal should not be a choice as it was never considered during the referendum it was always said that getting a deal would be easy and it was only May’s ridiculous posturing over ” No deal is better than a bad deal” which brought it into play and parliament agree it would be disastrous. If necessary lock parliament in say these are the choices and don’t let them out until they’ve come to an agreement. A customs union and alignment over goods would seem to be a good choice as it would solve the problem of the hard border. All this talk over a time limit on the backstop is just waffle as it is time limited on when the equipment necessary to make it work is available.

    2. Outside the EU the UK will be too vulnerable to implement any of JC’s policies anyway. That is why many Labour voters will not vote Labour unless they promise a second EU referendum. I will not vote Labour until they promise a second EU referendum, and I am not the only one.
      Most Brexiters voted Brexit for reasons that have nothing to do with the EU, and the Labour leadership should “lead” and point that out!
      It would be undemocratic to push through with Brexit when the nation has changed it’s mind. There should be no Brexit without a second referendum.

    3. I’m note giving my vote to a party which promises to ignore one of my earlier votes. The way to get turkeys to vote for Christmas is to promise them they can open their presents after dinner, but if this is true about a second referendum (and it’s not clear that it is), then Labour is telling this turkey I’m the dinner.

      Those who want to overthrow a referendum result can never again call themselves democratic, and if Jeremy doesn’t stop prevaricating over the referendum result he’ll lose too many Leave voters to form the next government. Then we’ll just have to wait for the unrest and riots and fires to get things changed.

      1. “Unrest and Riots”? to push through something that no longer has public support? I would call that fascism. There must be a second referendum. The results of the first was not a clear mandate, the result was too narrow, and no one knew what they were voting for. Of course there will be plenty of riots when the effects of Boris’s No deal Brexit become apparent.

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