BBC interviewer Justin Webb lost it with Diane Abbott during an angry exchange over whether another Brexit referendum vote was one of Labour’s “red lines” as negotiations with Theresa May’s ‘Remain at any cost’ negotiating team continue to debate a way forward with members of Jeremy Corbyn’s far – left Labour Party, to try to deliver Britain’s exit from the EU. The senior Labour politician admitted Britain WOULD vote to leave the EU AGAIN given a second referendum.
Abbott refused to say whether Brits having the final say on any Brexit deal was one of the party’d demands in EU brexit talks with the Government. She was pressed by a BBC host. The Labour Party has been engaged in negotiations with the Conservative Government this week after Theresa May reached out to Jeremy Corbyn to try to get Brexit over the line, which sparked fury among many in the Conservative Party. Speaking on BBC’s Today programme, the shadow home secretary was quizzed over whether a second Brexit vote was a “necessity” of the negotiations with the Government, before she admitted Leave would likely win again.
Ms Abbott said: “The Labour Party is united on the fact a People’s Vote is still on the table, that is the conference position.”
Pressed by Webb on whether any agreement with the Government must have a second vote attached to it, Ms Abbott said: “We are not saying anything definitively but we have a position.”
The BBC host snapped back: “Hold on a second, if you had a position you would be saying it definitively wouldn’t you?
“Lots of your support, I imagine quite a lot of people listening now, would be saying, ‘we need another vote and we need Labour, which is overwhelmingly supported actually by people who would like another opportunity to say they want to remain in the EU, we need to have an opportunity to say that’.”
Ms Abbott replied: “People’s Vote was part of the policy package we passed at conference. Of course, you can have different types of People’s Vote, you can have what is called a confirmatory ballot, where you get a deal and you put it back to the people. That’s a standard trade union process, you negotiate a deal, then you bring it back to your members for a vote.
“Or you could have a People’s Vote if you thought it was the only way to stop a no deal Brexit, but the principle of the Labour Party supports some kind of People’s Vote was set out in the policy agreed at conference.”
The BBC host, who was completely wrong to suggest that Labour voters overwhelmingly want a new vote, typically of BBC news department he was looking only at the section of the population domiciled in London while the majority of Labour voters outside London want ‘No Deal’. Webb also demanded Ms. Abbott tell him if the British people having another vote after negotiations was a “red line” for Labour’s negotiators.
Ms Abbott said Labour was a “member led party and the members are being clear on this question of some kind of People’s Vote, so it has to be part of our negotiations with the Government.”
Unofficial sources say the talks between Labour and the government have broken down but both sides insist the discussions will reopen in Monday morning.