Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas says Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backing second Brexit referendum could ‘alienate voters’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire/PA Images/parliamentlivetv

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire/PA Images/parliamentlivetv

House of Commons/PA Wire/PA Images/parliamentlivetv

It was announced yesterday, Wednesday, June 19, that Mr Corbyn could be in favour of another vote to take place following the first European Referendum in 2016, if it contained “real choices” for both Leave and Remain voters this time around.

He told the shadow cabinet: "We have committed to respecting the result of the referendum, and have strongly made the case for an alternative plan for Brexit as the only serious deal that could potentially command the support of the house.

"A no-deal Brexit would plunge us into the worst excesses of disaster capitalism and trash our economy on the back of fantasy Tory trade deals or worse, very real and very damaging trade deals with Donald Trump, opening up our NHS to American companies.

"I have already made the case, on the media and in Dublin, that it is now right to demand that any deal is put to a public vote.

"That is in line with our conference policy which agreed a public vote would be an option.

"A ballot paper would need to contain real choices for both Leave and Remain voters."

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Jon Cruddas, who represents Dagenham and Rainham, was one of 26 Labour MPs to sign a letter warning Mr Corbyn of backing another referendum.

In the letter, it said: "A commitment to a second referendum would be toxic to our bedrock Labour voters, driving a wedge between them and our party, jeopardising our role as a party of the whole nation, and giving the populist right an even greater platform in our heartlands.

"Labour has a vital role to play fighting for a Brexit for the many, not the few.

"But this is a battle best fought in stage two, after the UK has left.

"We urge the party to put the national interest first, to back a deal before October 31."

In response, Mr Cruddas said: "In 2017, I campaigned on a pledge to respect the outcome of the referendum and negotiate a Brexit that works for the people of Dagenham and Rainham.

"I still believe that this is the right course of action.

"I have voiced my concerns around the possibility of a second referendum a number of times, and I worry that this latest position may further alienate voters."

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