Much worry has been expressed over the past year about Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit, but in the past few weeks he has shown some skill in adopting a position that brings Labour closer to its members, voters and, above all, values. 

Jeremy is now promising to back a people’s vote in all circumstances – not just if it’s a Tory Brexit, but if we win the next election too. 

Our party’s promise of a new referendum on Brexit stands now as a compromise between two extremes. On the one hand you have the far right of the Tory party now occupying Downing Street who want to impose a form of Brexit on the British people that is a million miles from what they once promised. On the other, some would overturn and revoke the result of the last referendum simply through a vote of parliament. 

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Either course will only deepen divisions in our country. Neither can be called democratic. The only fair way to solve this crisis and get a lasting settlement is by giving the people the final confirmatory say, as was done after the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. 

If, but only if, in the end it came to a stark choice between no deal and revoking Article 50, I might be prepared to vote for revocation, but only if the people were then asked to endorse that choice in a final referendum.

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UK news in pictures

Shape Created with Sketch.
UK news in pictures

1/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history

2/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo

3/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast

4/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland

5/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween

6/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay

8/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain

9/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test

10/50 11 September 2019

Storm clouds gather over the pier just off the North East coast at South Shields

11/50 10 September 2019

The peloton rides past the Angel of the North during stage four of the Tour of Britain from Gateshead to Kendal

12/50 9 September 2019

A penny farthing cyclist rides past St. John’s, Smith Square, Westminster, London

13/50 8 September 2019

Australia celebrate the wicket of England’s Craig Overton, which meant they won the fourth test and retained the Ashes

14/50 7 September 2019

Manchester City celebrate after Caroline Weir scored during their Women’s Super League match against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. The WSL attendance record was smashed with 31,213 people watching the first Manchester derby of Women’s Super League era – nearly six times the previous WSL record

15/50 6 September 2019

A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer (left) while being walked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen. It coincided with the publication of Lord Bew’s review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers

16/50 5 September 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cuts the hair of David Torrance MSP raising £1000 for the charity Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

17/50 4 September 2019

Australia’s David Warner looks dejected after being dismissed by England’s Stuart Broad during day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester

18/50 3 September 2019

Anti Brexit demonstrators attend a protest at Parliament Square. Lawmakers returned from their summer recess Tuesday for a pivotal day in British politics as they challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the UK leave the European Union on 31 October, even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow

19/50 2 September 2019

Set building begins on Waterloo Place in Edinburgh ahead of filming for Fast and Furious 9

20/50 1 September 2019

Members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club take part during the annual cricket match between the clubs, which takes place on the Bramble Bank sandbank in the middle of the Solent at low tide
Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at Whitehall in London

22/50 30 August 2019

One of the iconic ‘Girl with Balloon’ artworks by anonymous street artist Banksy is carried near one of the original locations the artwork appeared at on the Southbank in London

23/50 29 August 2019

The sun rises over the sculpture “The Couple” by artist Sean Henry, at Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland

24/50 28 August 2019

A person wearing a Boris Johnson ‘head’ digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London

25/50 27 August 2019

Nat Lofthouse statue is covered in flags at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton

26/50 26 August 2019

Performers take part in Notting Hill Carnival. Nearly one million people were expected to attend Sunday and Monday’s carnival to celebrate Caribbean culture

27/50 25 August 2019

A competitor swims in the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwryd Wells, Powys

28/50 24 August 2019

People flock to Bournemouth beach as a heatwave spells potentially record high temperatures for the bank holiday weekend

29/50 23 August 2019

Fans of Bury FC deliver a symbolic coffin to the club’s home at Gigg Lane as the continuation of their membership to the football league lies in doubt. The club will lose their membership at midnight if they don’t find a buyer or prove that they have the means to pay off their debts

30/50 22 August 2019

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow DEFRA Secretary Sue Hayman during a visit to Rakefoot Farm, Castlerigg, Keswick where they are highlighting the danger of a No Deal Brexit to sheep farmers

31/50 21 August 2019

Festival goers walk along the towpath of the River Thames as they arrive for the Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue

32/50 20 August 2019

Police officers gather to pay their respects at the scene near Ufton Lane, where Thames Valley Police officer PC Andrew Harper, 28, died on Thursday. Jed Foster, 20, has appeared at Reading Magristrates’ Court where denied any involvement with the murder

33/50 19 August 2019

A fire that broke out at the site of Village Bakery on Coed Aben Road, Wrexham Industrial Estate in Wales

34/50 18 August 2019

England fielders crowd Pat Cummins as he see’s out the final over during day five of the second Ashes Test match against Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The test ended in a draw

35/50 17 August 2019

Glew (centre) and Monroe Adams (right) pose for a selfie with a member of the public outside DragWorld London 2019, Europe’s largest drag convention, featuring drag stars from the US and UK during a two-day event at Olympia, London

36/50 16 August 2019

A grey seal with fishing net tangled around its neck amongst the colony on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as RSPCA data show the number of animals affected by plastic litter is at an all-time high, with incidents increasing by 22% in just four years

37/50 15 August 2019

A flock of sheep are herded past government buildings in London by members of Farmers for a People’s Vote, a campaign group

38/50 14 August 2019

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a press conference at the Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, southwest England, on August 14, 2019, ahead of her journey across the Atlantic to New York, aboard the Malizia II IMOCA class sailing yacht, where she will attend the UN Climate Action Summit next month. – A year after her school strike made her a figurehead for climate activists, Greta Thunberg believes her uncompromising message about global warming is getting through — even if action remains thin on the ground. The 16-year-old Swede, who sets sail for New York this week to take her message to the United States, has been a target for abuse but sees that as proof she is having an effect

39/50 12 August 2019

A hare runs on a moor near Ripon, North Yorkshire

40/50 11 August 2019

Britain’s Jamie Chadwick wins first-ever W Series title. She pocketed a prize of £410,000 and, having been signed as a development driver for Williams, she keeps up her hopes of making it into Formula One

41/50 10 August 2019

People gather on the beach as a raft carrying people dressed as clowns heads to shore during the annual Whitby Regatta in Whitby, England. At over 170 years old, the Whitby Regatta is thought to be the oldest sea regatta on the northeast coast of England and draws thousands of visitors each year

42/50 9 August 2019

Burryman Andrew Taylor, gets a nip of whisky using a straw, from resident Mary Hamblin, 82, as he parades through the town of South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, encased in burrs. The parade takes place on the second Friday of August each year and although the exact meaning of this tradition has been lost through the years it is thought to have begun in the 17th Century. The tradition is believed to bring good luck to the towns people if they give him whisky offered through a straw or a donation of money

43/50 8 August 2019

A mosque is seen amongst residential housing from the air during a mass take off at the annual Bristol hot air balloon festival in Bristol
An Asiatic lioness eats meat during feeding time ahead of World Lion Day at London Zoo

45/50 6 August 2019

Beer enthusiasts taste beer and ale during The Great British Beer Festival at Kensington Olympia in west London. The Great British Beer Festival, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), brings hundreds of real ales, international beers and real ciders and perries under one roof

46/50 5 August 2019

Australia’s Nathan Lyon celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Joe Root during day five of the first Ashes test at Edgbaston. The hosts were on the end of a thumping, as Australia won the first test by 251 runs

47/50 4 August 2019

Franky Zapata stands on his jet-powered “flyboard” prior to landing on St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, during his attempt to fly across the 35-kilometre (22-mile) Channel crossing. The Frenchman achieved his aim today, on his second attempt, after having spent years developing the jet-powered hoverboard

48/50 3 August 2019

A Cricket fan wears a Donald Trump inflatable, during day three of the first Ashes test cricket match between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham

49/50 2 August 2019

An RAF Chinook helicopter flies in sandbags to help repair the dam at Toddbrook Reservoir which was damaged in heavy rainfall

50/50 1 August 2019

Stuart Broad celebrates after taking the wicket of David Warner during day one of the first Ashes test between England and Australia at Edgbaston. England fans celebrated the loss of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft dismissals by waving sandpaper after they both faced bans for their roles in the Sandpaper scandal last year. Australia were all out for 284 after Steve Smith frustrated the hosts with a total of 144. He helped drag his side from 122-8

1/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history

2/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo

3/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast

4/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland

5/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween

6/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay

8/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain

9/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test

10/50 11 September 2019

Storm clouds gather over the pier just off the North East coast at South Shields

11/50 10 September 2019

The peloton rides past the Angel of the North during stage four of the Tour of Britain from Gateshead to Kendal

12/50 9 September 2019

A penny farthing cyclist rides past St. John’s, Smith Square, Westminster, London

13/50 8 September 2019

Australia celebrate the wicket of England’s Craig Overton, which meant they won the fourth test and retained the Ashes

14/50 7 September 2019

Manchester City celebrate after Caroline Weir scored during their Women’s Super League match against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. The WSL attendance record was smashed with 31,213 people watching the first Manchester derby of Women’s Super League era – nearly six times the previous WSL record

15/50 6 September 2019

A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer (left) while being walked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen. It coincided with the publication of Lord Bew’s review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers

16/50 5 September 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cuts the hair of David Torrance MSP raising £1000 for the charity Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

17/50 4 September 2019

Australia’s David Warner looks dejected after being dismissed by England’s Stuart Broad during day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester

18/50 3 September 2019

Anti Brexit demonstrators attend a protest at Parliament Square. Lawmakers returned from their summer recess Tuesday for a pivotal day in British politics as they challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the UK leave the European Union on 31 October, even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow

19/50 2 September 2019

Set building begins on Waterloo Place in Edinburgh ahead of filming for Fast and Furious 9

20/50 1 September 2019

Members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club take part during the annual cricket match between the clubs, which takes place on the Bramble Bank sandbank in the middle of the Solent at low tide
Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at Whitehall in London

22/50 30 August 2019

One of the iconic ‘Girl with Balloon’ artworks by anonymous street artist Banksy is carried near one of the original locations the artwork appeared at on the Southbank in London

23/50 29 August 2019

The sun rises over the sculpture “The Couple” by artist Sean Henry, at Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland

24/50 28 August 2019

A person wearing a Boris Johnson ‘head’ digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London

25/50 27 August 2019

Nat Lofthouse statue is covered in flags at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton

26/50 26 August 2019

Performers take part in Notting Hill Carnival. Nearly one million people were expected to attend Sunday and Monday’s carnival to celebrate Caribbean culture

27/50 25 August 2019

A competitor swims in the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwryd Wells, Powys

28/50 24 August 2019

People flock to Bournemouth beach as a heatwave spells potentially record high temperatures for the bank holiday weekend

29/50 23 August 2019

Fans of Bury FC deliver a symbolic coffin to the club’s home at Gigg Lane as the continuation of their membership to the football league lies in doubt. The club will lose their membership at midnight if they don’t find a buyer or prove that they have the means to pay off their debts

30/50 22 August 2019

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow DEFRA Secretary Sue Hayman during a visit to Rakefoot Farm, Castlerigg, Keswick where they are highlighting the danger of a No Deal Brexit to sheep farmers

31/50 21 August 2019

Festival goers walk along the towpath of the River Thames as they arrive for the Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue

32/50 20 August 2019

Police officers gather to pay their respects at the scene near Ufton Lane, where Thames Valley Police officer PC Andrew Harper, 28, died on Thursday. Jed Foster, 20, has appeared at Reading Magristrates’ Court where denied any involvement with the murder

33/50 19 August 2019

A fire that broke out at the site of Village Bakery on Coed Aben Road, Wrexham Industrial Estate in Wales

34/50 18 August 2019

England fielders crowd Pat Cummins as he see’s out the final over during day five of the second Ashes Test match against Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The test ended in a draw

35/50 17 August 2019

Glew (centre) and Monroe Adams (right) pose for a selfie with a member of the public outside DragWorld London 2019, Europe’s largest drag convention, featuring drag stars from the US and UK during a two-day event at Olympia, London

36/50 16 August 2019

A grey seal with fishing net tangled around its neck amongst the colony on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as RSPCA data show the number of animals affected by plastic litter is at an all-time high, with incidents increasing by 22% in just four years

37/50 15 August 2019

A flock of sheep are herded past government buildings in London by members of Farmers for a People’s Vote, a campaign group

38/50 14 August 2019

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a press conference at the Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, southwest England, on August 14, 2019, ahead of her journey across the Atlantic to New York, aboard the Malizia II IMOCA class sailing yacht, where she will attend the UN Climate Action Summit next month. – A year after her school strike made her a figurehead for climate activists, Greta Thunberg believes her uncompromising message about global warming is getting through — even if action remains thin on the ground. The 16-year-old Swede, who sets sail for New York this week to take her message to the United States, has been a target for abuse but sees that as proof she is having an effect

39/50 12 August 2019

A hare runs on a moor near Ripon, North Yorkshire

40/50 11 August 2019

Britain’s Jamie Chadwick wins first-ever W Series title. She pocketed a prize of £410,000 and, having been signed as a development driver for Williams, she keeps up her hopes of making it into Formula One

41/50 10 August 2019

People gather on the beach as a raft carrying people dressed as clowns heads to shore during the annual Whitby Regatta in Whitby, England. At over 170 years old, the Whitby Regatta is thought to be the oldest sea regatta on the northeast coast of England and draws thousands of visitors each year

42/50 9 August 2019

Burryman Andrew Taylor, gets a nip of whisky using a straw, from resident Mary Hamblin, 82, as he parades through the town of South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, encased in burrs. The parade takes place on the second Friday of August each year and although the exact meaning of this tradition has been lost through the years it is thought to have begun in the 17th Century. The tradition is believed to bring good luck to the towns people if they give him whisky offered through a straw or a donation of money

43/50 8 August 2019

A mosque is seen amongst residential housing from the air during a mass take off at the annual Bristol hot air balloon festival in Bristol
An Asiatic lioness eats meat during feeding time ahead of World Lion Day at London Zoo

45/50 6 August 2019

Beer enthusiasts taste beer and ale during The Great British Beer Festival at Kensington Olympia in west London. The Great British Beer Festival, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), brings hundreds of real ales, international beers and real ciders and perries under one roof

46/50 5 August 2019

Australia’s Nathan Lyon celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Joe Root during day five of the first Ashes test at Edgbaston. The hosts were on the end of a thumping, as Australia won the first test by 251 runs

47/50 4 August 2019

Franky Zapata stands on his jet-powered “flyboard” prior to landing on St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, during his attempt to fly across the 35-kilometre (22-mile) Channel crossing. The Frenchman achieved his aim today, on his second attempt, after having spent years developing the jet-powered hoverboard

48/50 3 August 2019

A Cricket fan wears a Donald Trump inflatable, during day three of the first Ashes test cricket match between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham

49/50 2 August 2019

An RAF Chinook helicopter flies in sandbags to help repair the dam at Toddbrook Reservoir which was damaged in heavy rainfall

50/50 1 August 2019

Stuart Broad celebrates after taking the wicket of David Warner during day one of the first Ashes test between England and Australia at Edgbaston. England fans celebrated the loss of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft dismissals by waving sandpaper after they both faced bans for their roles in the Sandpaper scandal last year. Australia were all out for 284 after Steve Smith frustrated the hosts with a total of 144. He helped drag his side from 122-8

One of the main reasons we want this democratic solution is because none of us can trust Boris Johnson to solve the Brexit crisis.

Anyone tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt should remember he’s still allowing his “aides” to brief journalists about the possibility of suspending parliament a second time in October. 

But if the prime minister does come back with some deal in the final days before the 31 October deadline and tries to crash it through parliament with the barely any scrutiny, Labour’s position should be clear: we would allow a deal to pass through parliament only if it was subject to a confirmatory referendum.

Whether it’s before an election or after an election, Labour won’t let Brexit be forced on the people without everyone getting the final say. 

In contrast to an ongoing Brexit crisis, Labour’s pledge on a people’s vote would be delivered within months. No further renegotiation for years on end, no ifs, no buts. We would put it the people – a real Brexit option, not an impossible promise like Johnson’s. 

That’s the way to get closure on this crisis and the clarity we need to move on from the past three years so we can start tackling all the other issues facing our country that have been ignored for too long. 

I know that everyone in Labour wants to be able to concentrate on those other neglected issues. We haven’t always been totally united on Brexit, but there are values that run right across the party that can bind us together again. 

We must not forget those values now because any form of Johnson Brexit – deal or no deal – would be the completion of a project of the right, for the right and by the right. 

Every now and then, the mask slips, with reports in recent days confirming that the government is already plotting to remove the environmental protections previously promised by Theresa May. Johnson’s Brexit would deregulate our economy, cut taxes for the wealthiest and turn our country into the offshore, cost-cutting pirate state of Tory dreams. 

It is why our socialist Labour values – open to the world and internationalist, not inward-looking and nationalist – mean that if we win our fight for a people’s vote, we should, in my view, be campaigning wholeheartedly for us to stay in the European Union. I can’t be neutral on Brexit. The effects on constituencies like mine will be too massive.

And it won’t just be me. I’ll be standing with Labour’s voters, Labour’s members, Labour trade unions, Labour MPs and Labour’s shadow cabinet in saying how we want to remain in and reform Europe.

We will be backing the campaign to stay in the EU not just because that’s in keeping with Labour’s traditional values, but also because working in the heart of Europe is all about the future we want to create. 

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So, if we want to tackle the towering challenges of today – climate change, inequality, corporate tax evasion, refugees, the way technology is changing work – it’s not just about what we can do in our country, it’s how much more we can do by cooperating with other countries. 

Imagine what a radical Labour government could do at the heart of Europe, working with our sister socialist parties across the continent, trying to change Europe so it works for everyone. 

Now think about how limited we would be if we left and had to press our faces against the window of the room where all our futures were being decided. 

This weekend’s global protests against climate change show the potential for a progressive movement across borders. That’s why we know in our heads and in our hearts that Labour will campaign to stay in Europe.

Margaret Beckett is the Labour MP for Derby South