Labour's new second referendum on Brexit will not be a People's Vote

Saul Bowman
September 27, 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been reluctant to support growing demands for a second referendum, or People's Vote, but the party agreed a motion after five hours that went some way to appeasing members who want another chance to vote on Brexit.

These centrist MPs now find themselves on the sidelines and battling for their political lives in the face of aggressive attempts by Corbyn's supporters to de-select them, another issue that could raise tensions during conference.

The rest from Labour's annual conference...


Delegates at Labour's annual conference will vote today on a motion that reads: "If we can not get a general election, Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote".

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell insisted he only supported giving voters a choice between accepting any agreement Theresa May negotiates with Brussels and leaving the European Union without a deal.

The Labour Party says the motion is not "prescriptive" on what the question of any second referendum should be, leaving options open to gauge the lie of the land if, or when, such a vote needs to take place.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will back a second Brexit referendum if it is supported by the Labour Party conference.

"Obviously I'm bound by the democracy of our party", Corbyn told the BBC.

"There will be a clear vote in the conference".

"Today, before the match, I had the opportunity to meet the Fans Supporting Foodbanks, supporters who are doing all they can to fight hunger and come together for the greater good of their community on match day".

McCluskey told Labour MPs who have claimed pro-Corbyn activists are trying to get rid of them they should accept party members had the right to choose who their representatives were.

"It is a betrayal not only of the millions of Labour voters, but of our 2017 manifesto", he said, referring to the party's campaign at last year's election that gained Labour more votes than many expected.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has so far played a canny game by allowing the debate to tie the government in knots while remaining ambiguous, but the time is nearing to reveal his hand.

Labour MP David Lammy said the choice would amount to a "farcical referendum on no deal or a bad deal".

"Labour have to come to a decision".

Brexit minister Robin Walker accused Labour of trying to take the United Kingdom "back to square one" and of wanting to re-run the referendum, saying: "Labour promised to respect the referendum result, but are just playing political games and trying to frustrate it".

The country was at a tipping point, he said, and faced with a resurgence in the "radical right", adding: "This can not be a Labour Party that allows others to wreck our country and stand with the far right".

'We argued for Remain in the past but we lost that vote so we have to respect that, ' he said.

"Because as soon as we change government the whole atmosphere will change".

Ms Dodds replied: What we're saying is that we need at that stage if Theresa May can't command sufficient support in Parliament to get her deal though, we need to have a general election.

In his party conference speech, Sir Keir said Labour's goal was not to "frustrate the process" but to "stop a destructive Tory Brexit".

"We will be putting our case to Parliament and we will see what happens after that. We are ready for it".

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