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I can renegotiate Brexit deal as PM, Corbyn claims in Dublin

President Higgins meeting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has claimed he could renegotiate the Brexit deal as prime minister and that any second referendum must involve “a new deal” with Europe.

The Labour leader’s comment despite months of the EU repeatedly ruling out any re-opening of Theresa May’s thrice-defeated withdrawal agreement.

Speaking in Dublin, where he is today meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for discussions about Brexit, Mr Corbyn also said any second Brexit referendum should not be a repeat of the 2016 vote but instead a referendum on a new deal with Europe.

Earlier today, Mr Corbyn held a short meeting with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Jeremy Corbyn at ICTU headquarters in Dublin. (PHOTO: PHOTOCALL IRELAND)

Mr Corbyn made his comments to journalists on Wednesday evening prior to a meeting in Dublin with Ictu general secretary Patricia King. On Thursday, an Irish government spokesperson said that he would take no further questions.

Any second referendum, he said, “would be on the basis of whatever we have succeeded in negotiating”.

Mr Corbyn also said that he is “absolutely opposed” to a no-deal Brexit, one which Tory leadership contenders have floated the idea of in recent weeks.

Asked how he could negotiate the agreement, he said: “Well, we’ve just had the EU elections, there will obviously be a new commission and we’ll be discussing this with the Taoiseach tomorrow.

The General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade unions, Patricia King, meeting the leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn at ICTU headquarters in Dublin. (PHOTO:PHOTOCALL IRELAND)

“Indeed, I have discussed this before with officials including [chief Brexit negotiator] Michel Barnier in the European Union, and we think that the important thing is to get an agreement with the European Union that prevents a no-deal Brexit.

“I do not want Britain to become some kind of tax haven on the shores of Europe. I want us to have a close relationship with Europe in the future. After all, jobs on both sides of the channel, and of course in Ireland as well, depend on that trading relationship.”

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