SNP MP mocks Labour’s Brexit stance

An SNP MP has mocked Labour’s Brexit stance after a shadow minister said the party could renegotiate a deal with the EU before urging voters to reject the compromise in a second referendum.

Labour has faced criticism over its Brexit stance
Labour has faced criticism over its Brexit stance

Labour’s Paul Sweeney insisted his party would fight any snap general election campaign under a Remain banner despite Jeremy Corbyn’s long record of ambivalence on the subject. 

Appearing on BBC Radio Scotland today, Mr Sweeney was asked if this meant a future Labour Government could spend “six months” negotiating a new deal - only to then campaign against it in a second referendum. 

The MP for Glasgow North East said: “It is incumbent on us as a party to negotiate in good faith to have an offer - a credible Leave option - in a referendum.”

He added: “There are several things we could do to get there - win a no confidence motion and trigger a general election and form a Labour government.

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“Then there would be a situation where we would seek to renegotiate a deal along Labour’s lines, but then not necessarily own that deal - we would say we are still backing Remain as a party - but we are giving that option to the people to ratify.”

Asked if that would be a waste of the government’s time, Mr Sweeney said: “We need to go through this as a country and bring people together. Simple binary solutions are not the way forward.”

But that stance drew scorn from veteran SNP MP Pete Wishart, who said: “Poor Paul Sweeney ‘explaining’ Labour’s Brexit position. ‘His’ version is that Labour would become a party of remain but put together a departure deal that they would then campaign against. Genius.”

The Labour MP responded: “Mr Wishart you have refused to back a public confirmatory vote on the Brexit deal, because you don’t want it to set a precedent in any possible separation referendum in future. Labour is campaigning to stop No Deal, have a public vote on any Brexit deal and campaigning to Remain.”