There is lots of confusion within Labour regarding what the party’s official policy on Brexit is.
On Tuesday, we reported that members at the party’s Liverpool conference unanimously backed a motion agreeing that Labour should push for a second vote on whether Britain should leave the EU.
The motion, which was passed at an economic forum, said the following:
“Unless the final settlement proves to be acceptable, then the option of retaining EU membership should be retained. The final settlement should, therefore, be subject to approval, through Parliament and potentially through a general election or a referendum”
However, the party’s chief administrative body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), released a statement hours later saying this wasn’t actually Labour’s official approach to handling Brexit.
The statement said: “Conference policy on Brexit has been misinterpreted in some reports as committing Labour to a second referendum on UK membership for the EU, so far the avoidance of doubt we want to make clear that is not our policy.”
Richard Corbett, the Labour MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, attended the forum and posted a tweet confirming the motion had been passed. He then tweeted on Wednesday saying it had been an “unfortunate cock-up”.
Unfortunate cock-up. The text nonetheless reflects widespread view in @UKLabour that if #brexit deal is bad, we shouldn’t exclude a rethink pic.twitter.com/YqPzdvbZQB
— Richard Corbett (@RCorbettMEP) September 27, 2016
We spoke to Corbett on Thursday morning to seek some clarity on what actually happened. In an email, the MEP said:
“A resolution covering Brexit was endorsed by conference, but there has subsequently been some confusion about whether this was included due to a compositing error. I am not the person able to give chapter and verse on how this happened. But the text certainly reflects a widespread view among Labour party members about the need to resist a bad Brexit deal, and to keep the option open for Britain to think again in the event of a bad deal.”
“I am not the person able to give chapter and verse on how this happened.”
“But the text certainly reflects a widespread view among Labour party members about the need to resist a bad Brexit deal, and to keep the option open for Britain to think again in the event of a bad deal.”
Business Insider has contacted both Jeremy Corbyn’s office and the NEC to find out why this cock-up happened and what the party’s Brexit policy actually is. Neither were immediately available for comment.
Speaking at the final day of the conference yesterday, Corbyn said Labour would hold the Tory government to account during Brexit negotiations but didn’t exactly make clear what the party’s policy is.
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