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  1. ITV Report

Confusion over Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit position after suggestion he'd be neutral in new referendum

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

There is renewed confusion over Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit position after the suggestion that he'd remain neutral in a new EU referendum.

The Labour leader declined to clarify whether he would back Remain or Leave in a Brexit referendum if he were prime minister.

He would not clarify his personal opinion on Brexit when asked repeatedly in an interview, after a column he penned in the Guardian appeared to suggest he would take a back seat in any referendum campaign.

Pressed if he would remain neutral in the campaign, he said: "As prime minister I'm offering the people a choice - the only party that's doing so."

"My job as prime minister would be to deliver that option that's chosen by the British people," he said.

"I will credibly present the options and say 'this is the option, you can Remain, possibly with some reforms to the European Union, or you can Leave, but you will be leaving on these terms which would protect jobs and living standards and trade'."

The Labour leader says he would get a Credit: PA

A Labour source told ITV News Political Reporter Shehab Khan that the party had not agreed to be neutral in a referendum, saying they will decide their position once an agreed deal has been assessed.

However the party would not confirm that it wouldn't be neutral.

Labour MP Phil Wilson told ITV News "it isn't good enough" for Mr Corbyn to sit on the fence between Leave and Remain.

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"I think we just need a bit of clarity - this is the biggest issue facing the country in peace time, for a hundred years, and I think the leader of the opposition needs to take a stand," the Sedgefield MP said.

Mr Corbyn's comments came as Welsh Labour responded to his Guardian column, declaring that wing of the party would campaign for Remain.

Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford wrote to MPs to say: "We, as Welsh Labour, must and will campaign to remain in the EU."

ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand says the letter was "timed to put clear red water between Welsh Labour and Jeremy Corbyn".

Mr Corbyn said he was "confident" he would win the support of shadow cabinet members who are unequivocally Remain-backing, such as John McDonnell and Tom Watson.

"I'm asking my party conference this weekend and next week in Brighton, and all my colleagues, to realise the importance of giving the people a choice. We are the only party that is offering people a choice," Mr Corbyn said.

"I've shared these views with all of my colleagues in the party and I'm very confident they will come with me on this journey to make sure that the people of this country make the final decision."