Britain’s opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn would push ahead with Brexit and seek to renegotiate the terms if he won a snap election next year, he said on Saturday, in a blow to party supporters who want a second referendum
Like much of Britain, Corbyn s Labour party is deeply divided over Brexit, with some senior lawmakers leading calls for a fresh vote and others representing areas that recorded the highest support for leaving the European Union in the 2016 plebiscite.
Corbyn, a Socialist with little passion for the EU, has been reluctant to support a second referendum, or People s Vote, but with less than 100 days to go until Brexit the clamour is growing for either a delay or a second vote to prevent Britain leaving without a deal.
You d have to go back and negotiate, and see what the timetable would be, the 69-year-old told the Guardian newspaper, when asked what he would do if he won an early election designed to break the deadlock in parliament.
Asked what stance Labour would take if a referendum were held, Corbyn said: it would be a matter for the party to decide what the policy would be; but my proposal at this moment is that we go forward, trying to get a customs union with the EU, in which we would be able to be proper trading partners.
Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. Prime minister Theresa May has struck a withdrawal agreement with Brussels but was forced to pull a parliamentary vote on it last week after admitting she would lose by a large margin.
A new election is not due until 2022 but one could be called if May fails to get her primary policy through parliament.
Meanwhile, the British government could tell citizens to change their diets if importing food from the European Union becomes difficult under a no-deal Brexit, a report said Friday.
London has begun planning what to do about food supplies if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement with Brussels, The Times said, citing plans revealed to the newspaper.
Perishable goods, such as vegetables from the Netherlands or fruit from Spain, could be held up at the border, if tough checks are imposed or the EU limits trade, said the report.
It said the government had identified giant hangars around the country that could be used to stockpile food.
However, officials do not think there would be a general food shortage, according the report.
Some companies have begun taking matters into their own hands.
The Zizzi and ASK restaurant chains will be switching from Italian to British mozzarella suppliers.
The brands parent company Azzurri said it had taken the decision due to fears that a no-deal Brexit would disrupt food supplies into Britain.
The new Welsh milk mozzarella has already been introduced by ASK and will be on the Zizzi menu next year.
Meanwhile businesses including Premier Foods, Quorn, and London s plush Fortnum and Mason emporium have said they will stockpile some products in case of delays at the border.
The British government and Brussels have struck a withdrawal agreement that would prevent a no-deal Brexit.
However, it currently lacks majority support in the British parliament, being opposed by both Brexiteer lawmakers and pro-EU MPs alike.
The government has stepped up its no-deal planning.
Prime minister Theresa May has said the vote on the deal will take place the week of January 14.
Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.