Brexit

Reality Check: Has Corbyn changed his mind on Article 50?

Jeremy Corbyn saying: I did not mean [Article 50] should be invoked on Friday morning and we should rush over to Brussels and start negotiating.

The claim: Jeremy Corbyn has performed a U-turn over when Article 50 should be triggered.

Reality Check verdict: Mr Corbyn's message has certainly changed, either because he has changed his mind or because he misspoke on 24 June and waited a month to correct himself.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke to David Dimbleby on the BBC the morning of the EU Referendum result.

His first remark was that: "The British people have made their decision. We must respect that result and Article 50 has to be invoked now so that we negotiate an exit from the European Union."

Article 50 is the mechanism by which countries leave the European Union. After it has been triggered, the clock starts ticking on a two-year deadline to negotiate the terms of the exit, after which the country will leave the EU, unless all the other members agree to an extension.

Mr Dimbleby said the idea of an abrupt signing of Article 50 was at odds with suggestions from Tory MEP Daniel Hannan who said it would be better to take our time and develop a strategy.

My Corbyn confirmed that it was important to have a strategy but did not disagree with the suggestion that he was calling for an abrupt triggering of Article 50.

Media coverage concluded that Mr Corbyn was indeed in favour of triggering Article 50 straightaway, and his first challenger for the Labour leadership, Angela Eagle, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that his idea of triggering Article 50 straightaway would have caused chaos.

An immediate triggering of Article 50 was not an outlandish suggestion at the time. David Cameron had said before the referendum that he would be doing so straightaway, before changing his mind and resigning instead.

But Mr Corbyn set the record straight in an interview on Newsnight on Thursday.

"I may not have put that as well as I should have done," he told presenter Evan Davis.

"The view I was putting was that Article 50 will be invoked at some point. I did not mean it should be invoked on Friday morning and we should rush over to Brussels and start negotiating things away because clearly the negotiations are going to be very long and very complicated."


Read more: The facts behind claims about our relationship with the EU


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