Labour’s Thornberry demands referendum on any Brexit compromise

Emily Thornberry, U.K. Shadow Foreign Secretary | Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Labour’s Thornberry demands referendum on any Brexit compromise

British shadow foreign secretary says public should be given option to stay in EU.


4/7/19, 8:04 PM CET

Updated 4/7/19, 8:07 PM CET

LONDON — Emily Thornberry, the U.K. shadow foreign secretary, demanded any Brexit deal between her party and the government be put to a second referendum as she suggested Labour MPs from Leave-supporting constituencies were “misunderstanding” their own voters.

Speaking at a live taping of POLITICO’s EU Confidential podcast in London on Sunday, Thornberry said any deal agreed between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would prove controversial.

“The question will be — is this what anybody wants? Or do we end up with a compromise that just makes everybody unhappy?” Thornberry said. “I think whatever it is, it will be controversial. And I think that in those circumstances, it’s right for us to be saying to the British people: ‘During that referendum, did you vote for this? Do you want this? When you said you wanted to leave, did you want to leave like this?’”

She said the public should be asked the question: “Is this what you want or do you want to remain?”

Asked whether a Labour-Tory deal and a referendum should be bundled together in one package in parliament — which would make a public vote far more likely to go through — rather than being subject to separate votes, Thornberry said: “I think that the two things need to go hand in hand.”

Labour is split over whether any deal should go to a referendum.

 »