Chuka Umunna: Revoking Article 50 is democratic

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Chuka Umunna has defended the Liberal Democrats’ pledge to revoke Article 50 if elected with a majority.

The Labour-turned-Lib-Dem MP told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer the party was signalling its intentions and allowing voters to have the final say.

“The whole way that we do things in this country is parties make commitments in a manifesto, they put forward an offer to the public and then they invite the public to vote for them,” he said.

“You could say, frankly, that whenever you elect a new government and they chose to take a different course, it renders null and void the position of their predecessors on whatever policy it is, I’m afraid that’s just how our democracy works.”

He said the Liberal Democrats are “absolutely up for a general election”, but the opportunities offered by Boris Johnson before Parliament was suspended were too risky.

“It’s not a question of whether we want a general election it’s a question of the timing and of course part of the reason Boris Johnson wants to have a general election now is in his desire to try and crash us out of the European Union without a deal,” he said.

“Once we’ve got the extension implemented, which is due around the time of October 31 then we can have that general election because we will be comfortable that we won’t be crashing out.”

Mr Umunna launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn at the Liberal Democrat's party conference in Bournemouth earlier this week.

He claimed the party was not "liberal" and said Mr Corbyn’s supporters would "abuse, vilify and deselect anyone who dares to question the leader”.

Mr Umunna joined the Liberal Democrats in June, after leaving Labour in February to stand as an independent.

To applause, the Lib Dem foreign spokesman added: “I could not be more at home.”

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