Labour’s Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer has said his party’s new approach to a fresh referendum does not rule out an option to stay in the EU. Sir Keir told The Independent the motion agreed with delegates that will be voted on Tuesday, could allow a new referendum with ‘Remain’ on the ballot paper.
The comments fly in the face of others made by shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Unite leader Len McCluskey who had said they believed the best approach to any new referendum would exclude an option to remain in the bloc.
The Independent has launched the Final Say campaign to secure a People’s Vote referendum on whatever the outcome of Brexit might be, with more than 820,000 having signed the petition so far.
Sir Keir’s words will be a boost to Remainers in his party who had complained after Mr McDonnell set out his views ahead of his big speech at the conference in Liverpool.
On Sunday Labour delegates agreed a motion that, if passed by the conference, would mean that Labour “must support all options remaining on the table including campaigning for a public vote”.
Sir Keir told The Independent: “The idea is to retain flexibility, the motion doesn’t rule out remain, it doesn’t tie us to any position on what should be in any future vote.”
The shadow cabinet minister, apparently reacting to anger in the wake of Mr McDonnell’s words, made similar comments to delegates at a fringe meeting on Monday.
People’s Vote supporters had condemned Mr McDonnell’s suggestion that a new referendum should exclude a Remain option as “farcical”.
David Lammy, a supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said: “Labour members support a People’s Vote by almost nine to one – 90 per cent of Labour members want to stay in the EU. Read more
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