The Labour Party pledged to hold a second referendum on Brexit if they won a majority at the next general election, with the party planning to include an option to have a close relationship with the European Union or remain in the bloc. BBC Today programme host Martha Kearney questioned the move, suggesting limiting the poll card options to soft Brexit or no Brexit at all would not be fair to Brexiteers across the country. Ms Kearney said: “Is it fair to all those millions of people who voted Leave, many of them Labour voters, to have a referendum which on the one hand would have Labour’s negotiated deal – which would be pretty close to the EU and a customs union, very close to the single market, versus Remain?
“There would be nothing on the ballot paper which would be either no deal Brexit, clean Brexit, hard Brexit, whatever you want to call it.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Labour would not allow Britain to leave the European Union without a deal, claiming Britons would be at risk of losing their jobs and “quality of life.”
Mr McDonnell said: “I don’t think we would be a responsible Government if we allowed us to go anywhere near a no deal. And I can’t contemplate that.
“I just worry what’s happening at the moment – this is a deep, profound worry about my own constituents – that if we allowed Boris Johnson to take us over the edge with no deal, people would lose their jobs and their quality of life would be undermined.
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“I don’t want to be in a situation where, if we allowed it to happen, in six to 12 months people said, ‘why didn’t you protect my job?’”
Jeremy Corbyn last week signalled he will take on a neutral position on Brexit in the event of Labour succeeding to take power and hold a second referendum.
Members at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton will vote on Monday on whether the party should also adopt a position of neutrality or openly campaign for Remain.
Labour on Sunday published their latest Brexit plans in which they suggested Mr Corbyn and his team would be able to negotiate a new Brexit deal with Brussels within three months of taking power.
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But in a sign of further division at the top of the party, Mc McDonnell said he will campaign for Remain at a new referendum – and admitting no “better deal can be achieved.”
The Labour frontbencher said: “I campaigned for Remain. I can’t see, at the moment, a better deal being achieved and that’s my view.
“That’s why I’m saying I’m happy to go along with this logical sequence and I’m happy for others to challenge me and say, ‘actually, this is a better deal’ and I’d like that debate to happen.”
He added: “I said I’d support Remain because I think it’s the best option but others think there are clearly other options.
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“We’ve seen that when we had the negotiations for six weeks with the Government about the Theresa May.
“The EU at that point were in discussion about other options around a permanent customs union, a closer relationship with the single market. I think people should make their own judgment on this.
“There’ll be some who think that we can get a deal but there’s others like myself who don’t think you can get a better deal than Remain. But that’s the whole process of how we bring the country together.”
Shadow Foreign Minister Emily Thornberry, a longtime supporter of Mr Corbyn, warned Labour would lose 30 percent of its vote if it did not embrace Remain in all circumstances.
Several other senior figures within the party were also vocal in their condemnation of the leader’s lack of leadership over Brexit.
The fresh internal conflict came following news on Friday night that Mr Corbyn’s close aide, John Lansom, had devised a plan to oust Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy Priem Minister, from the party.
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