Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn rules out second Brexit referendum

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appearing on The Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Getty/BBC
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appearing on The Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Getty/BBC
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Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out a second referendum on Brexit amid fresh calls for a new poll.

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The Labour leader also appeared to distance himself from the so-called “Norway model” of remaining in the European single market outside the EU.

He highlighted the importance of influencing regulations in trade deals, adding that Norway had no ability to influence those in the single market.

A significant amount of Labour MPs and members support the UK staying in the single market, as well as a second Brexit referendum.

A Guardian/ICM poll this week found 65% of Labour backers want the public to have the final say on leaving once negotiations are complete, compared with 19% who oppose the idea.

When pressed on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Corbyn said: “We’re not asking for a second referendum.”

Asked directly “and you’re not going to?” he replied: “No.”

Norway is part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which operates alongside the European Union and participates in the single market.

Mr Corbyn said Norway’s model was not an exact one, adding: “Norway accepts all the rules of the single market, doesn’t have any ability to influence them whatsoever, and is a rather different economy to ours, because it’s heavily dependent on mainly oil. We’re not.”

He earlier said Britain should be able to influence the regulations in its future trading relationship with Europe.

“The point has to be about the regulatory environment, but above all, able to influence those regulations that come, so that means a trading relationship with Europe that gives us the opportunity to negotiate with Europe,” said Mr Corbyn.

He said Labour “could work with EFTA countries on that relationship”, adding: “The principle has to be the trade relationship, and that’s what we’re focused on, and whatever we need to negotiate, we will.”

Mr Corbyn called for a “commensurate” regulatory environment with Europe, as well as potentially remaining in a form of customs union.

He also appeared to back “easy movement” of people after Brexit, providing efforts were made to tackle the undercutting of pay and conditions.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said: “As has long been suspected, Labour’s leadership is moving closer and closer to the Conservatives’ hard Brexit, which would damage the economy and cost jobs.

“They are betraying their own members and parliamentary base, who want to remain part of the customs union and single market.

“Rather than ruling out the Liberal Democrats’ increasingly popular call for a vote on the terms of any deal - which would include an exit from Brexit - they should be doing their job as the official opposition and backing the public to have the final say.”

Brexit minister Steve Baker said: “Jeremy Corbyn confirmed today that Labour would not take control of our borders when we leave the EU.

“Labour are not interested in getting the best Brexit deal for Britain, and simply want to frustrate the process.”

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