Wales politics

Stephen Kinnock urges Jeremy Corbyn to revisit Brexit plan

Stephen Kinnock MP
Image caption Stephen Kinnock is a member of the House of Commons Brexit Committee

Jeremy Corbyn has been urged to order Labour MPs to back Theresa May's withdrawal agreement on Brexit and avoid leaving the European Union with a "catastrophic" no-deal.

The call was made by Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock who thinks it can break political deadlock.

Mr Kinnock said the deal worked in favour of Labour as concessions had been made towards the party.

He fears leaving on 31 October without a deal under the new prime minister.

Boris Johnson, the favourite to succeed Mrs May in No 10, has said the UK must leave the EU by that date, with or without a deal.

Mr Corbyn is also facing pressure from his own party to back Remain and a second referendum on leaving the EU.

But Mr Kinnock is one of 25 Labour MPs who are against another referendum.

"The key point is that this is not the withdrawal agreement that failed to get through parliament. This is a Withdrawal Agreement Bill which was the result of cross-party talks and it's actually full of concessions to Labour's negotiating position," he told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme.

Image caption More than 25 Labour MPs wrote to Jeremy Corbyn to urge him not to go "full Remain" as the party reviews its stance on another referendum

"There's a customs union at least until the next general election, there's a bill on workers' rights with dynamic alignment with the European Union, there's environmental standards guarantees and very importantly, there's a commitment to a binding vote on whether the deal should be put to a second referendum.

"Unfortunately, parliament never got a chance to look for this because it was dismissed in a rather knee-jerk way by our side and by others and we haven't had a chance to debate or vote on it.

"I've always felt it was a good deal particularly because it was a product of concessions to Labour."

Mr Kinnock believes the idea of backing the withdrawal agreement would have support from MPs.

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Image caption Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are battling to become the next prime minister

He added: "What I'm saying to the new prime minister and to Jeremy Corbyn is that the only way to break this deadlock is to get something through parliament.

"In a hung parliament, that really requires Labour and Tories to be whipped to support it and the only way we've got the numbers to do that is for Jeremy now to make this big, bold offer and throw down the gauntlet to the new prime minister.

"I think there's a substantial number of Labour MPs who will go with the recommendation of our whip because they know there's a catastrophic no-deal Brexit waiting around the corner.

"We now have a prime minister coming in who has made it clear he will leave on the 31 October, do or die."

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