John McDonnell has said he would rather have another general election than a second EU referendum.
کد خبر: ۷۷۳۴۶۰
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۳ بهمن ۱۳۹۶ - ۰۸:۵۹ 12 February 2018

John McDonnell has said he would rather have another general election than a second EU referendum.

The Shadow Chancellor told Peston on Sunday another referendum would cause further divisions and said an election would be a “better route”.

Mr McDonnell’s stance is at odds with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has not ruled out calling for a second referendum once the terms of Brexit are known.

Mr Corbyn insisted last month that he was not calling for a new national poll on withdrawal, but sidestepped questions on whether he could change his stance in the future.

However, Mr McDonnell told Peston on Sunday that a second Brexit referendum would “divide the country again”, adding “those divisions are really still there” and said he was concerned about prompting right-wing xenophobia. When asked whether Labour would rule out a second referendum, he said: "We’d never turn our back on democratic engagement.

“I think better we have a general election. Better we have a general election. On the issue and all the other issues, because you then have a wider debate as well.”

Mr Corbyn told Peston last month: “We are not supporting or calling for a second referendum. What we have called for is a meaningful vote in Parliament.”

Asked about a second referendum on any Brexit deal, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry told BBC1's Andrew Marr Showlast month: "If 90 per cent of the population was now saying we must stay in the European Union and we must not leave then that would be a challenge that would be there for all of us who are democrats.

"But, at the moment and as things currently stand, we proceed in good faith, we do as we are instructed and we are leaving the European Union.

"We have said that we must respect the result of the referendum which means that we have to leave, but we have to look after the economy which, in my view, means that we don't go very far."

Earlier on Sunday, Conservative MP Anna Soubry appeared alongside Labour’s Chuka Umunna on The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, where she was asked whether there was a majority in the House of Commons to defeat “the kind of Brexit the Prime Minister wants”.

Ms Soubry replied: “If she’s not careful, yes.”

Asked whether she thought Brexit will definitely happen she said: “I genuinely don’t know what is going to happen.”

The Prime Minister will make two key note addresses on Britain's departure from the EU in the coming weeks and prominent Leave campaigners David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson will also set out their agendas.

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