Corbyn backtracks on election threat


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has backtracked on a threat to stop Article 50 and force a General Election.
After seeming to indicate that he would throw a spanner into the works for Prime Minister Theresa May, he has now been forced to clarify his statement.
He now says that Labour will not be preventing the triggering of Article 50, which is necessary to begin official Brext negotiations, or forcing a General Election.
Mr Corbyn had suggested that he would try to block Article 50 if the Prime Minister failed to agree to a series of “Brexit bottom line” demands.
He said the Government must make sure that Britain has continued access to the single market and that workers’ rights must not be weakened as a result of Brexit.
However deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has moved to clarify the party’s position.
He said: “The people have spoken and Article 50 will be triggered when it gets to Westminster”.
A source close to Mr Corbyn clarified that Labour would not be blocking Article 50, but that it did want to have the chance to amend the government’s negotiating terms if they do not meet its wish list.
The source added: “Our support for invoking article 50 is unconditional, but we would seek to amend or influence the government’s negotiating terms.”
The latest Brexit controversy comes after a High Court ruling which found that Mrs May needed to seek the support of Parliament on negotiations before triggering Article 50.
Mrs May has remained defiant in the face of the stumbling block, saying that she was still set on her timetable of invoking Article 50 before March next year. She has immediately said that she will be appealing to the Supreme Court.
The High Court ruling could mean that Remain campaigners decide to use their Article 50 vote to delay leaving Europe.
There are also fears that because Mrs May will have to reveal the scope of her negotiations, that could put her on the back foot going into Europe to try to secure a good deal for Britain.
Mr Corbyn said: “The court has thrown a big spanner in the works by saying Parliament must be consulted. We accept the result of the referendum.
“We are not challenging the referendum. We are not calling for a second referendum. We’re calling for market access for British industry to Europe.”