Labour MEP warns of ‘years of Brexit wrangling’ with EU if no deal struck in October

The Labour Party MEP insisted a Brexit no deal would plummet the UK into “years of wrangling” with the European Union as he claimed the best chance to avoid chaos is to end the withdrawal process. Richard Corbett, the leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, insisted Labour voters who backed Leave in 2016 should demand a rerun because of the differences between the promises made to them during the referendum campaign and the plans the government has adopted. While at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, the MEP told “Everyone wants to get it over with but leaving, especially without a deal, is just the beginning of years of more wrangling.

“If you’re fed up with Brexit, the best is to stop Brexit straight away.

In terms of Labour Leave voters, most Labour voters even in Leave areas voted Remain but I am concerned about addressing the concerns of Leave voters.

“But many Leave voters tell me now Brexit is turning out so different from what was promised by Boris Johnson and the Leave campaign.”

Mr Corbett insisted British voters should be given the chance to vote again on whether they want to leave the European Union after three years of inconclusive negotiations with Brussels. 

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He continued: “Brexit is turning out to be so different from what was promised that it is legitimate to go back to the people.

And as David Davis said – remember, a Conservative and the Secretary of State for Brexit – he said, ‘if a democracy cannot change its mind it ceases to be a democracy.’

“It’s a right mess, Brexit is turning out to be a complete mess. The fundamental difficulty if you go ahead with Brexit is that you have a very difficult choice to make as a country whoever is in government.”

Mr Corbett continued: “Are you going to distance yourself from the European Union, our main trading partners, our neighbours, be outside the common market and customs union? You can do that then you have a big economic hit.

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“Or do you accentuate that hit and keep some of the benefits of the by staying in the customs union and the single market but then you have to follow the rules which, if you are not a member, you don’t have a say on?

“Neither is actually very good for Britain and we’ve been wrestling with what to do for three years.”

The Labour Party on Monday is to vote on a motion set to decide whether the party will be campaigning to Remain or stay neutral in the event of a new referendum.

The motion read: “The NEC welcomes Labour’s commitment to let the people decide Brexit.


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“Labour will put control of Brexit back in the hands of the people in a new referendum with a real choice between a sensible leave deal or remain.

“A Labour Government would secure a sensible leave deal with the EU within three months, and with six months would put it before the people in a referendum alongside the option to remain.”

Earlier this month, Jeremy Corbyn led efforts to take no deal off the table as he headed an alliance of opposition parties to spearhead new legislation forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request an extension to the Brexit deadline if no agreement is reached by October 17.

The Labour leader renewed his commitment on Sunday as he outlined his party’s plan for a new referendum: “We will put both views to the British people and say ‘this is the best deal we could get, this is the Remain and hopefully reform option.”

Additional reporting by Jodie Packwood

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