The Speaker
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 – 16:45

Labour to back a second referendum on Brexit

The Labour Party has announced they will back a second referendum on Brexit. 

The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn told a meeting of Labour MPs on Monday evening that the party will support a second referendum on the UK’s departure from the EU in order to “prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country”.

The move from the Labour Party comes with less than 33 days until the UK is due to leave the EU. The move represents a big policy shift for Mr Corbyn, who had seemingly been against supporting a second referendum.

A statement from the Labour Party said Mr Corbyn would tell his MPs about the decision at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party;

“The Prime Minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous No Deal. We cannot and will not accept.

“Last week, after our visit to talk to EU officials and leaders in Brussels and Madrid, no one can be in any doubt Labour’s alternative Brexit plan is serious and credible. We are convinced our alternative, which puts jobs and living standards first, could command support in the House of Commons, bring people who voted Leave and Remain together and be negotiated with the EU.

“That’s why we will be putting down an amendment in parliament this week setting out Labour’s plan: for a comprehensive customs union with a UK say; close alignment with the single market; guarantees on rights and standards; protection for Britain’s role in EU agencies; and a security agreement which guarantees access to the European arrest warrant and vital shared databases. And we will be calling for legislation to underpin this mandate.

“We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a No Deal outcome. One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent No Deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal.

“That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.”

The move by the party is somewhat a controversial one. The support for the policy is yet to be determined, but an amendment could be tabled and debated in Parliament later this week. It is thought that the policy may anger some MPs, especially those who represent constituencies that voted to leave in the 2016 referendum.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced at the weekend that there would be no meaningful vote on a Brexit deal this week. Mrs May is now facing pressure from her own cabinet and MPs to delay Brexit and take no deal off the table. The Prime Minister is due to deliver a statement to the Hosue of Commons regarding Brexit on Tuesday.

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