When It Comes to Brexit Specifics, Corbyn Is as Vague as May

U.K. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Jeremy Corbyn came to Brussels acting like a British prime-minister-in-waiting and critical of the incumbent. But on the key issues surrounding Brexit he was as fuzzy as Theresa May.

Exhibit A: The tricky question of money. May said the U.K. would meet its financial obligations but does not want to commit to a figure. When asked how he would tackle the problem, he said: “We have to pay what we are legally required to pay, we don’t have to pay any more than that,” and “we are not in a position to negotiate those figures and I cannot give a figure on it.”

Exhibit B: Could there ever be a second referendum on staying in the European Union. May got herself into a spot of trouble earlier this month by refusing to say if she would vote for Brexit in a second referendum. She later clarified that there would not be a second vote.

The Labour leader, who received a hero’s welcome at the conference of European Socialists on Thursday, was asked in front of television cameras if could make an iron-clad promise that there would not be a second referendum. His answer leaves some room for ambiguity.

“We will negotiate and report back to Parliament and Parliament will make decisions. As far as we are concerned the referendum has happened, we respect the results of the referendum, that was the decision of people.” In short, it’s not a clear “yes.”

— With assistance by Nikos Chrysoloras

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