Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour party, suggested Wednesday he would remain neutral if there was a second referendum on Brexit.
Labour has promised that if it wins the next election, it will seek a new exit deal with the European Union and put that and the option to stay in the bloc to a referendum.
‘Only a Labour government would end the Brexit crisis by taking the decision back to the people,’ Corbyn wrote in an article in The Guardian.
‘We will give the people the final say on Brexit, with the choice of a credible leave offer and remain.’
He added: ‘I will pledge to carry out whatever the people decide, as a Labour prime minister.’
Labour has been accused of a confused position over Brexit as it seeks a middle way to avoid alienating voters on either side of the 2016 referendum.
However, as the governing Conservatives toughen their position under prime minister Boris Johnson, pressure is growing for Labour to campaign actively to stay in the EU.
The issue is likely to spark intense debate at Labour’s party conference starting this weekend.
Johnson insists Britain must leave the EU on October 31, with or without a deal with
Brussels — although he is constrained by a law blocking ‘no deal’ next month.
Meanwhile, the smaller Liberal Democrats agreed at their annual conference last weekend to reverse Brexit if they ever won a majority in the House of Commons.
‘We are the only UK-wide party ready to put our trust in the people of Britain to make the decision,’ Corbyn wrote.
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), tweeted: ‘Staying neutral on Brexit is a shameful abdication of leadership.’