Labour Party

Leave would win a second Brexit vote, says Abbott

#Brexit special section Daily news

Labour has not ruled out a second Brexit referendum – but it would almost certainly end in the same result, the party’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said.

She warned those pushing for a ‘People’s Vote’ on UK membership of the EU to ‘be careful what you wish for’ as Leave would probably win.

Ms Abbott added she had never seen anything like the current political situation in her 31 years as an MP.

Speaking to the BBC’s Nick Robinson on his Political Thinking podcast, the Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP said she believed the 2016 vote would be honoured.

She predicted that the UK would come out of the EU as planned on March 29 next year but admitted that the process had shaken the political system.

“I have never seen anything like this and there is a tiny bit of me which thinks this might all end in a general election,” she told Robinson.

Labour agreed at its annual conference to keep all options on the table over Brexit, including a People’s Vote.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn contradicted this at the weekend when he said that a second referendum was ‘an option for the future’ but ‘not an option for today’.

Labour’s preference is for a general election if Prime Minister Theresa May loses a vote on her Brexit deal in Parliament.

With the frequency of elections governed by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, that is not an easy thing to bring about.

Two thirds of all MPs would have to vote in favour of it or there would have to be a successful vote of no-confidence in the Government for it to happen before 2022.

But Ms Abbott said: “This is an era when things that you never thought could happen, are happening.

“Whatever the legislation says, in the end, Parliament disposes and Parliament proposes.”

Responding to a claim by shadow Chancellor John McDonnell that Labour could form a minority government without an election, she said nothing could be ruled out.

She even admitted that no alliance with another party was off the table, even Northern Ireland’s DUP which has been propping up Mrs May’s Government.

“I always say to my MP colleagues that the people of Hackney send me to Parliament to get rid of the Tories.

“If it’s all about getting rid of this Tory government you do what it takes.”

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