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Jeremy Corbyn Repeatedly Refuses To Say If He'll Punish MPs For Backing Johnson's Deal
16 October 2019, 14:48 | Updated: 16 October 2019, 14:50
LBC reporter Matthew Thompson asked whether Jeremy Corbyn would remove the whip from Labour MPs who voted for Johnson's deal and he repeatedly refused to answer.
When Matthew Thompson asked if Labour MPs could "fear a consequence" if they back Johnson's deal, Corbyn said:
"I will examine the deal if and when it comes back - and it's very strange that the Prime Minister hasn't bothered to go to Parliament today to explain what he's trying to achieve from the European Union, because there is a council of ministers meeting tomorrow.
"I think we should be told before he goes there, what his policy actually is. What I've heard fills me with alarm because it creates a border down the Irish Sea; because it undermines the Good Friday Agreement; because it gives no protection on consumer rights or worker's rights or environmental protections.
"And doesn't guarantee us that trade access to Europe which is so essential. When Nissan threatened to leave the UK if there isn't a proper trade deal with the European Union, surely we should all be quite worried."
Matthew asked: "But will you remove the whip from Labour MPs who vote for a deal?"
"I will try to persuade Labour MPs - all of them - to support the party's position on this which is to prevent a no deal exit-"
Matthew intercepted: "But if they don't, will you punish them?"
"I don't go through life threatening people I go through life trying to persuade people and I will ask them to recognise the decision -"
Matthew asked: "But if you fail to persuade-"
"Why are all the media so obsessed with punishment all the time?" asked Corbyn. Matthew said that persuasion is an option but if it fails, he wonders if there are consequences.
"Persuasion is more powerful than punishment," said Corbyn, "and I will talk to Labour MPs, ask them to vote along with the party. As I would ask other people to recognise the dangers of what Boris Johnson is proposing. This is a danger of crashing out where we lose our rights and lose our access -"
Matthew asked again if he wouldn't rule out removing the whip and Corbyn responded: "You're obsessed with this, aren't you?"
Matthew said: "It's perfectly possible, Mr Corbyn, you're a very persuasive man, but persuasion might fail. And so I'm simply wondering that if you fail to persuade them, what's the consequence?"
"I will ask Labour MPs to recognise that the party came to decision at our party conference, after a lot of debate as to how we would approach Brexit.
"The whole party united around that, and I would ask them all to respect that and respect the importance of getting a message across, of protecting jobs all across the UK, protecting that trade relationship with Europe, and not crashing out into the arms of Donald Trump and some kind of free trade deal with the USA which will be very damaging."