Majority of Labour MPs would refuse to back any Brexit deal without second referendum

Written by John Johnston on 7 May 2019 in News

Two-thirds of Labour MPs would demand a second referendum as part of their conditions for supporting any Brexit deal

Brexit demonstration in London - Image credit: PA

A majority of Labour MPs would refuse to support any Brexit deal unless it included a pledge to hold a confirmatory ballot, it has been reported.
Two-thirds of Labour MPs would demand a second referendum as part of their conditions for supporting any Brexit deal agreed with the government, senior Labour sources told the Guardian.

Members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are also expected to withhold their support - even if Labour secure concessions around a customs union and on worker’s rights.

The Sunday Times reported that May was prepared to offer Labour a “comprehensive but temporary customs union” which would last until the next general election in a bid to strike an agreement which could find support in Parliament.

Last week, Labour’s ruling national executive committee agreed to keep a public vote on the table as a final option, only if it failed to secure “necessary” changes to the Prime Minister’s deal, or the party could not force a general election.

But the move prompted fury among some Labour MPs who had written to Corbyn in a bid to have a second referendum commitment in the party’s manifesto for the European Parliament elections.

Over the weekend 104 opposition MPs, largely from Labour, wrote to May and Corbyn warning them they would refuse to support a “Westminster stitch-up” unless both leaders gave a commitment to putting any deal to a public vote.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, May had urged the Labour leader to "do a deal" with her after citing both sides' losses in last week's local elections.

Both sides are due to meet again today, to resume talks which have been underway since early April in a bid to break the impasse.

It comes a day after Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accused the Prime Minister of acting in “bad faith” however - after details of a potential compromise offer were leaked to the press.

He accepted the strength of support for a second vote among MPs however, adding: “To get any deal over the line you’ve got to recognise there will be a large number of MPs in parliament who actually do support a public vote”.

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