Brace for a UK election next year, opposition Labour leader Corbyn says

Jeremy Corbyn

LONDON (Reuters) – Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said there is likely to be a British national election next year but that he opposes a second referendum on European Union membership, Grazia magazine reported.

Prime Minister Theresa May lost her Conservative Party its majority in parliament by betting on a snap election in June, weakening her hand in Brexit negotiations. Labour by contrast did well at the election, making a net gain of 30 seats in Britain’s 650-seat parliament.

Corbyn, a lifelong socialist, who has repeatedly claimed that he will win power, said there would soon be another election.

“There will probably be another election in the next 12 months,” he was quoted by Grazia as saying. He predicted his Labour Party would win.

“I’m ready to be Prime Minister tomorrow,” Corbyn said.

Corbyn, who said he voted against EU membership in a 1975 referendum but voted for membership in 2016, said he opposed former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair’s proposal for another referendum on membership.

“Some were extremely irresponsible in what they did and said, but we have to recognise it was the largest participation of people in an electoral process ever in Britain and they chose to leave,” Corbyn was quoted as saying.

“I think we should continue putting pressure on the government to allow a transition period to develop, because at the moment we’re in danger of getting into a complete mess in March 2019,” Corbyn said, referring to the date Britain is due to leave the EU.