Jeremy Corbyn Under Pressure From Local Labour Parties To Back Second Brexit Referendum

Ned Simons

Jeremy Corbyn has come under renewed pressure from within Labour to back a second EU referendum.

On Monday, a new campaign by grassroots party members, Labour for a People’s Vote, was launched to demand the party keep open the option of stopping Brexit.

According to the group, 62 local Labour parties will debate a motion calling on Labour to “oppose Tory Brexit and win a radical Labour government”.

The campaign group said it expected that number to grow in the coming days.

Corbyn has said holding a referendum on the government’s Brexit deal is not currently Labour policy.

The party is split down the middle on Brexit, with the leadership having to carefully balance its largely pro-Remain membership against the party’s many ‘Leave’ voting constituencies. 

Mike Buckley, the Labour Party activist who set up the campaign, said: “Whether people voted Leave or Remain in 2016 they all voted for what they thought was a better future for them and their families.

“But the Tories’ Brexit deal will cost jobs, close businesses, and put at risk our NHS, workers’ rights and global alliances.

“The people deserve a chance to give their verdict on the Tories’ failed negotiation - only Labour can make that happen.”

The move is backed by Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA union, as well as economist Ann Pettifor, an adviser to John McDonnell.

The shadow chancellor has said he would prefer a general election to a second referendum if a Brexit deal cannot be agreed and approved before the UK leaves the EU.

It comes after tens of thousands of people marched through London on the second anniversary of the EU referendum to demand a fresh vote on the terms of the Brexit deal.

A large crowd waving EU flags and placards attended the People’s Vote rally on Saturday afternoon, walking from Pall Mall to Parliament Square.

The People’s Vote estimated that 100,000 took part, but the figure could not be independently verified.

Labour campaigned in support of Remain in 2016 and there were chants of “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn?” from the crowd.

Related...