'Love Corbyn, hate Brexit': Labour faces Brexit split

David Davis has backed proposals that would break a commitment to Brussels

David Davis has backed proposals that would break a commitment to BrusselsCHRISTOPHER FURLONG GETTY IMAGES

Speaking about Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn says there is an "air of uncertainty" around Britain.

If EU and Britain agree on a deal, it must be approved by individual nations before Britain leaves.

Negotiations on future relations between the United Kingdom and the bloc have faltered, largely due to divisions within May's Conservative government over how close an economic relationship to seek with EU.

Labour has listed six tests it would apply to any Brexit deal, including whether it ensured a strong future relationship with the EU and delivered the same benefits Britain has as a member of the bloc's single market and customs union.

The Labour leader will travel to Brussels with shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer with the message that no-deal is not acceptable.

Corbyn, who told his party conference Wednesday that a no-deal Brexit would be a "national disaster", has nevertheless warned his party could vote against any accord based on Prime Minister Theresa May's plan.

Her delegation plans to vote in favour of a conference motion on Tuesday supporting "all options remaining on the table", including the possibility of a second referendum on Brexit.

Delegates at the party's conference in Liverpool are expected to back a plan that could lead to a fresh public vote which could include the option of ditching Brexit altogether.

Corbyn, a veteran eurosceptic, accepted the motion, but on Tuesday sidestepped questions over which way he would vote in a second referendum and seemed to cast doubt over whether it would happen.

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And in a reminder that May's potential difficulties in securing a parliamentary majority for any deal she can strike with Brussels could trigger what the EU has labelled a "catastrophe", a senior official working for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker briefed ambassadors from the other 27 members on plans to deal with an abrupt British departure.

"We do not accept that the choice is between whatever the prime minister manages to cobble together and no deal. between really bad and even worse", Starmer said.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has long opposed the idea of a new Brexit referendum, saying the party must respect voters' decision to leave.

Prime Minister Theresa May signalled on Tuesday that she would prefer a "no-deal" Brexit to the offer now put forward by the European Union, stressing that Britain needs to see counter-proposals from the European Union to move Brexit negotiations forward.

"This isn't about frustrating the process", he said.

Some Labour MPs represent districts in Britain that voted decisively to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, and fear losing their seats if there is a general election.

The party's finance spokesman, John McDonnell, said any such vote should be on how - not whether - to leave the EU.

Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry said that "continual public barbs (at business) and backward-facing policy are deterring entrepreneurs and investors, at a time when we need them most".

Starmer has said a referendum to reverse Brexit must be an "option", but Corbyn's position is less clear.

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