Labour MP: Second Referendum Would End Brexit Deadlock 'More Decisively' Than General Election

17 March 2019, 18:50 | Updated: 17 March 2019, 19:04

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw admitted that the Brexit deadlock is more likely to be resolved through a second referendum than by a general election as suggested by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking to Clive Bull, the Labour MP for Exeter said that it would be "logical" for MPs to "rally behind the idea of letting the deal go through" but only on the expectation it is then put to a public vote against remaining in the European Union.

"The logical thing for everybody to do is to rally behind the idea of letting the deal go through but on the condition on the public giving it their consent in a referendum," Mr Bradshaw said.

"The idea that people would be happy if we were dragged out of the European Union on the basis of this unsatisfactory deal and everyone would then be quiet and happy is illusory.

"The only way of resolving this in the end is to give the decision back to the people and that's much more likely to be done decisively in a referendum than with a general election.

Clive Bull in the LBC studio
Clive Bull in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

But when the LBC presenter said that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been more focussed on holding a general election, Mr Bradshaw said he doubted its possibility given the "situation we find ourselves in".

"We'd all like a general election, and I'd like a Labour government, but I don't see how that is compatible with the situation we find ourselves in and the straitjacket of the timetable we find ourselves in.

"The European Union is going to ask us for a reason for us to extend Article 50 for any length of time, and I'm not sure that they would be happy to do so for a general election because it wouldn't resolve everything.

"The only way I think of resolving this Brexit crisis is going to be to vote for the cross-party backbench amendment calling for another referendum and then get it sorted out by that.

"I know it's probably the last thing that a lot of people want but I can not see, with Parliament in gridlock and the possibility of a very long extension if we don't do that, that there's any alternative."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that his party will not back Theresa May's Brexit deal in any further Commons vote after the Prime Minister said she would put her withdrawal agreement before MPs for a third time.

Mr Corbyn said that he believes the government would be defeated again, and claims that if it happens then a confidence motion "would be appropriate".

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