Labour to support second referendum to prevent "damaging Tory Brexit"

26 February, 2019, 00:36 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Theresa May said the UK will only leave on 29 March with explicit consent of parliament

The Labour leadership would rather voters be presented with a choice between its own deal and remaining in the European Union, as it tries to strike a balance between pro- and anti-Brexit opinion amongst its supporters.

What he exactly said was that he would support an amendment that supports a "public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit".

There will be votes on Wednesday on the direction of Brexit, but no amendments have been presented yet.

Labour are not yet making clear what their proposed referendum would be on.

The party will also support a bid by Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper to give parliament the legal power to force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period beyond the exit date now set down in law - March 29.

Labour said it would also put forward an amendment calling on the government to adopt its Brexit proposals, including a permanent customs union with the EU and close alignment with the bloc's single market. On the other hand, without promising that Labour would allow May's Brexit deal through parliament, there is no realistic prospect of attracting Conservative support. Due to take place this week, the second meaningful vote will instead be held some time before 12th March, or (most likely) on that date. One possibility is that Labour will back the so called Kyle/Wilson compromise, an amendment being promoted by two Labour backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson.


The referendum move comes after Labour lost eight MPs last week and will please the party's anti-Brexit MPs and its largely pro-EU membership.

After a meeting with members of his shadow Cabinet on Monday afternoon, the Labour leader finally gave way.

It remains unclear whether there is a majority in parliament in favour of holding another public vote and Labour lawmaker Stephen Kinnock said while he was pleased parliament would get a chance to express its view, he also had concerns.

A YouGov poll in January commissioned by the People's Vote campaign but conducted independently suggested 47 percent of the public backed a new vote.

"And basically we are doing as instructed by Labour Party conference".

He said: "In Parliament I think what's happening is there's [an] increasingly large number of people who will consider now moving towards a public vote situation to block a no deal and to block a bad deal, that Theresa May's deal is".

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