Labour will back a second referendum in bid to prevent no-deal Brexit

https://metro.co.uk/2019/02/25/labour-will-back-a-second-referendum-in-bid-to-prevent-no-deal-brexit-8743615/

Jeremy Corbyn has announced the Labour party will support a second EU referendum and said it is better than Theresa May’s ‘damaging’ deal.

It was today revealed that the leader plans to tell MPs to support the Cooper-Letwin amendment, which aims to delay the UK’s exit date from the EU by extending Article 50 if a deal is not agreed by Parliament by March 13.

If that fails they will call for a People’s Vote on Mrs May’s final deal with the EU .

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - FEBRUARY 21: The leader of Britains Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and EUs chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (not seen) make a press statement after their meeting in Brussels, Belgium on February 21, 2019. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Jeremy Corbyn is set to announce that the Labour party will support a second EU referendum, this evening (Picture: Getty)

The announcement comes days after eight of his MPs quit the party, partly over their frustrations over his failure to back a public vote.

Parliament is due to debate and vote on the next steps on Brexit on Wednesday, and lawmakers are expected to put down proposals, or amendments, including those which would demand the exit deal is put to a public vote.

Corbyn is expected to speak tonight at a Labour gathering and accuse the Prime Minister of ‘recklessly running down the clock’ to force MPs to choose between either her deal or a no-deal.

Labour MP David Lammy said: ‘It is welcome news that the Labour Party is now, at long last, signalling it will accept the principle of giving the public the final say on Brexit.

‘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 many of the promises made in 2016 have been broken and any deal will be worse than the one we’ve already got inside the EU.

epa07396214 Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London, Britain, 25 February 2019. Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson on 24 February called for Corbyn to take personal leadership of efforts to tackle antisemitism in his party following the resignation of nine Labour MPs last week. EPA/VICKIE FLORES

He is expected to support the Cooper-Letwin amendment (Picture: EPA)

‘These are dangerous times for the Labour Party and our country. Jeremy Corbyn is today taking the first step to reunite our party by showing he is listening to our voters and members on this, the biggest issue of our time.

‘But it is also crucial when food prices are already rising and car manufacturers are scrapping investment that we provide the clarity needed to plan for the future.’



What Corbyn is expected to say in full

‘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.’