Backing for a second referendum grows amid uncertainty over a Brexit deal, supporters claim

Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by "The People's Vote" in Brighton, on the south coast of England on September 21, 2019, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-remain MPs have predicted that they are gaining sufficient cross-party support to secure a second Brexit referendum, according to reports (Picture: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Support for a second Brexit referendum is growing amid doubts that Boris Johnson can secure a deal with the EU, according to reports.

According to the Observer, the push for a second vote is gaining cross-party support.

Mr Johnson is heading for crunch talks in Brussels on Thursday and Friday ahead of the final deadline of October 31.

To get any deal through Parliament, the Prime Minister needs the backing of the DUP, which is on shaky ground after its deputy leader Nigel Dodds warned the mooted plan "cannot work".

According to the Observer, sources suggest that the uncertainty over Mr Johnson’s ability to reach a deal is leading to a greater prospect of backing for a second referendum.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson participates in an art class during his visit to St Mary's and All Saints Primary School in Beaconsfield, Britain October 11, 2019. Alastair Grant/Pool via REUTERS
Boris Johnson needs the backing of the DUP for his deal to get it through (Picture: Alastair Grant/Pool via REUTERS)

One Labour source told the newspaper the party is prepared to whip its MPs to back a second vote, saying: “We believe we are getting closer to the majority it needs.”

Other figures have suggested that there will be a push for any deal to be subject to a confirmatory referendum with options of either leaving according to the terms of the deal - or remaining.


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Labour MP Peter Kyle told the Observer: “I have no doubt from soundings I have taken that an amendment to secure a confirmatory vote would be successful.”

Former Tory MP Nick Boles, who resigned over Brexit, said he would back any deal that the EU accepted but made clear that should no deal emerge from the EU council, a second referendum would be needed.

He told the newspaper that a snap election would only “prolong the agony”, adding: “Instead we should hold a referendum which offers people the choice between a soft Brexit deal and remaining in the EU.”

The speculation comes as Jacob Rees-Mogg warned Brexiteers the Government will have to make compromises to get a deal but Mr Johnson “can be trusted” not to concede too much.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, The Leader of the Commons said: "In the final stages of the Brexit negotiation, compromise will inevitably be needed, something even the staunchest Leavers recognise albeit unwillingly - but as a Leaver Boris can be trusted.

"He wants to take back control and has dedicated his political career to this noble cause. If he thinks the ship of state is worth an extra ha'porth of tar he deserves support."

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier is due to brief EU ambassadors and MEPs on Monday on progress in the talks.