Brexit: Labour to back ‘public vote’ in parliament

Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott in Telford

Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott in Telford

Jeremy Corbyn has edged even closer to backing a second Brexit referendum, telling his MPs he will back a fresh Commons move to "prevent" a damaging Tory exit.

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

"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 United Kingdom 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".

European Council President Donald Tusk says that the chances of a Brexit deal being sealed are receding and he is urging British Prime Minister Theresa May to request that the negotiations be prolonged.

"If Parliament rejects our plan, then Labour will deliver on the promise we made at our annual conference and support a public vote", Starmer added.

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As the Brexit crisis goes down to the wire, May said a so-called "meaningful vote" would not take place this week as expected. Meanwhile, senior Labour Party officials are reportedly moving closer to supporting a second Brexit referendum.

But Corbyn was battered last week by the abrupt resignations of nine Labour lawmakers, who quit the party complaining about his poor handling of Brexit and his alleged inability to purge anti-semitism among the party's rank and file.

Amid competing pressures, last year's Labour conference agreed to press for a general election but, if that was not possible, to keep other options on the table - including support for a People's Vote.

Prime Minister Theresa May returned from a seemingly unproductive meeting with European Union leaders Monday to a growing attempt by British lawmakers to stop her from taking Britain out of the EU on March 29 without a divorce deal.

Jeremy Corbyn tonight backed a second referendum on Brexit warning it was better than the "damaging" Tory deal.

May has said a new vote on any revised Brexit deal won't be held this week and could come as late as March 12.

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The question now is whether May will - either willingly or by force via the new Cooper amendment - replace her "my deal or no deal" ultimatum with a new choice: "my deal or delay Brexit, possibly for many, many months". Even if MPs can agree some sort of deal, it would be wrong to force it on the British people when we now know so numerous promises made in 2016 have been broken and any deal will be worse than the one we've already got inside the EU.

Shortly after the announcement betmaker Ladbrokes suspended betting on a People's Vote.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a second referendum would be "the right decision for London - and for the whole country - to give the public their say for the first time on a final Brexit deal".

'To my mind we would never have been forgiven for facilitating Tory Brexit'.

May's hands are increasingly tied by an unpopular divorce deal she sealed with the European Union but that Parliament has rejected by a landslide.

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