Jeremy Corbyn faces furious backlash from Remainer Labour MPs after vowing to press ahead with Brexit if Labour win a snap election
- Corbyn made the comments yesterday in an interview with The Guardian
- He was accused of treating his party with contempt after he admitted that ’60 per cent of Labour voters voted Remain’
- Labour MP Chuka Umunna called them ‘deeply depressing and disappointing’
20:51 EST, 22 December 2018
17:39 EST, 23 December 2018
Corbyn has vowed to go through with Brexit even if Labour win a snap General Election
Jeremy Corbyn sparked fury within his own party yesterday by vowing to go ahead with Brexit even if Labour wins a snap General Election in the New Year.
He faced a barrage of protest from Labour Remainers for seemingly shrugging off their mounting demands for a second referendum.
And he was accused of treating his own party with contempt after using a newspaper interview to signal his determination to press ahead with Brexit.
Leading Labour moderate Chuka Umunna branded his stance ‘deeply depressing and disappointing’ and urged party members to back the so-called ‘People’s Vote’ second referendum.
Fellow Labour MP Phil Wilson warned: ‘A Remain party led by a leader prepared to facilitate Brexit won’t end well for either the party or leader.’
Former Shadow Cabinet member Ian Murray condemned Mr Corbyn’s stance as ‘utterly contemptuous of the party and a betrayal of the country’.
The row erupted after Mr Corbyn gave an interview to The Guardian indicating he would press ahead with Brexit even if he came to power in a snap Election. That was even though he acknowledged that ‘about 60 per cent of Labour voters voted Remain; about 40 per cent voted Leave’.
He indicated that his priority would be to go to Brussels and try to secure a better deal than the one currently on the table. ‘You’d have to go back and negotiate, and see what the timetable would be,’ Mr Corbyn said.
The row erupted after Mr Corbyn gave an interview to The Guardian indicating he would press ahead with Brexit even if he came to power in a snap election
Labour moderates Chuka Umunna (left) and Phil Wilson (right) criticized Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit
Asked what Labour’s stance would be on a second referendum, he said it would be for the party to decide but added: ‘My proposal at this moment is that we go forward, trying to get a customs union with the EU in which we would be able to be proper trading partners.’
Mr Corbyn also fuelled fears that he privately favours Brexit by criticising Brussels’ state aid rules, saying: ‘I don’t want to be told by somebody else that we can’t use state aid in order to be able to develop industry in this country’.
But Labour Remainers, who suspect Mr Corbyn in no way shares their enthusiasm for a second referendum, were furious. Liverpool MP Luciana Berger claimed that public support for Labour would collapse if Mr Corbyn brought about Brexit.
Harry Potter author and Labour donor J. K. Rowling mocked Mr Corbyn yesterday in a biblically styled Christmas Twitter rant
She tweeted: ‘Labour will never be forgiven… it’s been made patently clear that there isn’t a “better” Brexit.’
But a Labour spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn was restating Labour’s policy of rejecting Theresa May’s botched Brexit deal, supporting a jobs-first alternative, pushing for a General Election and keeping all options on the table – including the option of a public vote.’
Harry Potter author and Labour donor J. K. Rowling mocked Mr Corbyn yesterday in a biblically styled Christmas Twitter rant against the party leader and the ‘Corbynites’. She wrote: ‘How shall the poor fare under Brexit, which thy Saint hath always in his secret heart desired, yet he hath not admitted… lest fewer attend his next Sermon on the Glastonbury B stage.’