Labour Conference: John McDonnell says critics have 'completely misinterpreted' Brexit stance

Monday, September 25, 2017

John McDonnell has talkRADIO that critics are "misinterpreting" the party's approach to Brexit at its annual conference.

It has been reported that the party leadership has tried to silence debate about Britain's departure from the EU at the party conference in Brighton. The reports emerged when pro-EU MPs tried and failed to hold a vote on Sunday to commit Jeremy Corbyn to permanent membership of the single market.

But McDonnell told our reporter Alex Dibble that delegates "will be able to get on the floor, talk about Brexit, there'll be a statement that they can vote upon. I think they've completely misinterpreted it."

The decision on which topics are discussed at conference, McDonnell added, "is made by the rank-and-file delegates themselves." He added: "The party control is now in the hands of our members and we'll abide by that."

On Brexit, the shadow chancellor told Alex that "we've led the debate," citing Labour's repeated demand for a transition period and flexibility beyond that two-year timeframe.

"We've consistently argued and been ahead of the field. The reason [our position] has changed is that we're building consensus in our own party."

By contrast the Tories, he said, were "incompetent and belligerent" on Brexit, while Labour "work together as a team."