Leonard: Labour Brexit preferred to second EU ref

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has said this afternoon that he would prefer a Labour Brexit over a second EU referendum

Speaking to journalists, Leonard also confirmed that he would back a "remain and reform" agenda in the event there was a second vote.

His comments come after Labour's frontbench in Westminster confirmed it would table an amendment to the government's Brexit Bill to prevent a "damaging Tory Brexit".

Leonard previously accused Theresa May of "playing chicken with people's livelihoods", saying she was running down the clock so that parliament was left with backing either her deal and no deal in the meaningful vote - which May has repeatedly delayed.

"Neither is acceptable and both would be bad for Scotland.

"Labour will do everything we can to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being imposed," he said.

Corbyn announced the plans to the parliamentary Labour group, which he said will aim to rule out a "no deal" Brexit and seek to keep the UK within a customs union with the EU.

Under a Labour Brexit, Corbyn would also seek to maintain "close alignment" with the Single Market, and keep the UK in the European Arrest Warrant and continued participation in several EU environmental and educational agencies and programmes.

Corbyn also announced that the party would support and extension of Article 50 and a second EU referendum if necessary to prevent a Tory Brexit, which would put Theresa May's deal to the public.

Richard Leonard said that, in the event of a second vote on EU membership, the options on the ballot paper should include remain and a "credible leave option", according to the BBC's Phillip Sim.

The SNP had called on Leonard to make his position "clear", and senior figures were still critical of Corbyn's latest plans after they were announced, however Labour insiders pointed out that his programme is similiar to that which the Scottish Government laid out in it's "Scotland's place in Europe" publication.

Appearing on BBC Scotland's The Nine last night, Scottish Labour's Brexit spokesperson Neil Findlay foreshadowed Leonard's position, say a second referendum should only happen if Westminster fails to back Labour's proposals.

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.