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Sunday, March 7, 2021

UK's Corbyn says would stay neutral in new Brexit referendum

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UK's Corbyn says would stay neutral in new Brexit referendum
UK's Corbyn says would stay neutral in new Brexit referendum

UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, under pressure to pronounce a Brexit stance, said late Friday (November 22) he'd take a neutral stance if he oversaw a second referendum as prime minister.

Lucy Fielder reports.

Britain's opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says he'll remain neutral in the second Brexit referendum he'll call if he becomes prime minister.

So he can credibly carry out the result and unite the country.

Corbyn is vying to win in a December 12 snap election called by his Conservative rival, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

But critics in Britain have slammed the veteran socialist for taking no clear stance on Brexit.

This was Corbyn during a 30-minute grilling by a studio audience late Friday: (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER, JEREMY CORBYN, SAYING: "One, we will negotiate a credible leave deal with the European Union (AUDIENCE JEERING).

Let me finish please, I'm trying to answer the gentleman's question.

Secondly, we will put that alongside remain in a referendum.

My role and the role of our government will be to ensure that that referendum is held in a fair atmosphere and we will abide by the result of it.

And I will adopt as prime minister, if I am at the time, a neutral stance so that I can credibly carry out the results of that to bring our communities and country together rather than continuing an endless debate about the EU and Brexit.

This will be a trade deal with Europe or remaining in the EU.

That will be the choice that we put before the British people within six months." Coming off the fence to announce neutrality won't convince everyone.

But it shows how tough the Brexit quagmire is for politicians in this deeply divided country.

Corbyn's own Labour party is split on the issue, while the ruling Conservatives have lost pro-remain lawmakers over Johnson's Brexiteer stance.

Voters face a stark choice between Corbyn's socialist vision and promise of another referendum, and Johnson's Conservative agenda and promise to - quote - "Get Brexit Done".

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