Published: Tue, February 26, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

UK Labour leaders hint at second referendum

UK Labour leaders hint at second referendum

The party will also support a bid by Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper to give parliament the legal power to force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period beyond the exit date now set down in law - March 29.

"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".

Theresa May is under growing pressure to delay the 29 March Brexit date, amid fears the United Kingdom will crash out of the European Union without a deal.

In a move that could change the Brexit debate in Britain, the Labour Party said it would back a second public vote if the House of Commons reject its alternative withdrawal plan later this week - as is widely expected.

That amendment may not come at this week's vote in parliament however.

The principal issue uniting the eight former Labour and three former Conservative MPs in TIG is opposition to Brexit and support for a second referendum.

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

Asked earlier in the week about his opinion on a second referendum, Corbyn said his party was discussing it and that it was something they would "consider" doing.

"There's no turning back for Jeremy now", Kyle said.

After a meeting with members of his shadow Cabinet on Monday afternoon, the Labour leader finally gave way.

Mr Tusk said delaying the UK's withdrawal is now a "rational solution", warning that the only alternative if MPs can not agree a deal is "a chaotic Brexit". It is thought that refusing to support this amendment would lead to more Labour defections to The Independent Group, deepening the party split.

The European Union has a questionable relationship with referendums, with several nations having found themselves re-running national votes that didn't go in Brussels favour, or having the original votes ignored altogether. Edinburgh MP Ian Murray, one of its strongest advocates, said the announcement was "significant progress", but said campaigners had to "win the arguments to get a majority in Parliament to win a public vote with the option to remain".

Corbyn added that if it fails, they will instead call for a People's Vote on the final deal with the EU.

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