Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. The Staggers
13 October 2017updated 01 Aug 2021 10:53am

Jeremy Corbyn says he would vote Remain in another EU referendum

Why are we surprised?

By Anoosh Chakelian

Answering the “gotcha” question of the moment – how would you vote in another EU referendum? – Jeremy Corbyn replied that he would vote Remain. He also reiterated that he voted Remain in the referendum last year.

When asked the question, he replied:

“There isn’t going to be another referendum, so it’s a hypothetical question but yes, I voted Remain because I thought the best option was to remain. I haven’t changed my mind on that.”

Theresa May, who also voted Remain, failed to answer the same question during an interview on LBC this week. Instead, she claimed not to “answer hypothetical questions”, and said she would have to weigh up the evidence and come “to a judgement”, like she did last time.

In contrast, other government ministers, including Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss, have said that they would now switch from Remain to Leave in the event of a second referendum.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

It is admittedly a harder question for the Remain-backing, Leave-delivering Prime Minister to answer, but Corbyn’s reply was a lesson in how to address the politically sticky question.

Content from our partners
Harnessing breakthrough thinking
Are we there yet with electric cars? The EV story – with Wejo
Sherif Tawfik: The Middle East and Africa are ready to lead on the climate

As my colleague Stephen writes, the Labour leader may be a Eurosceptic but his main priority for Brexit is to approach it in a politically pragmatic way.

Not blocking the Brexit process, exploiting the government’s divisions, condemning the slow negotiations, and sending Remain-sympathetic messages like this is a formula that works for just about everyone he’s trying to please in a bid to make his “government-in-waiting” electable.

Corbyn’s reticent campaigning ahead of the referendum was vindicated in the election result, when voters didn’t flee from Labour either because it was the party of Remain or pro-Brexit. His statement that he’d vote Remain again has a similar effect. While Labour’s line in the Commons on Brexit votes means it is respecting the result, Corbyn is ensuring that it is known he supported Remain. When voters come to blame a party for the negative consequences of Brexit, Labour under Corbyn is unlikely to get it in the neck.

Topics in this article :