John McDonnell Says UK Must Be ‘Positive’ About Brexit And Pledges Labour Will Not Block Article 50

Labour will not seek to “block or delay” the triggering of Brexit and will oppose any moves to hold a second referendum, John McDonnell has said.

The shadow chancellor also said on Monday that it was time people were “more positive about Brexit” given the referendum result.

His comments have led to accusations that Labour is guilty of “capitulation” on leaving the EU.

Some Labour MPs have said they will join the Lib Dems and others in voting against the triggering of Article 50 when it is brought before the Commons. But speaking in central-London today, McDonell said Labour’s official position would be to fight over the terms of Brexit rather than try and prevent it from happening.

This afternoon, the BBC reported the government was preparing a short three line bill to put before MPs to allow Theresa May to meet her March deadline to trigger Article 50.

Asked what Labour would have over May’s Brexit plan given he had promised not to frustrate in parliament, McDonnell said he would apply “moral pressure”.

“Labour accepts the referendum result as the voice of the majority and we must embrace the enormous opportunities to reshape our country that Brexit has opened for us,” he said.

“In that way we can speak again to those who were left behind and offer a positive, ambitious vision instead of leaving the field open to divisive Trump-style politics.

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