Why Jeremy Corbyn will back second Brexit vote

"Our preference would be for a general election and we can then negotiate our future relationship with Europe but lets see what comes out of conference", he told BBC TV.

Corbyn has long said that a "People's Vote" is not off the table for his party, and a source close to the leadership urged caution over an as-yet unknown motion, repeating the Labour leader's stance that he does not support a second referendum.

Campaigners for a so-called People's Vote - who staged a march in Liverpool on the conference's opening day - have welcomed the motion, which states that if Labour can not force an early general election it will "support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote".

Keir Starmer has been forced to reaffirm that Labour has not ruled out a referendum that could cancel Brexit, after John McDonnell appeared to insist the party could only back a vote on the deal itself.

Britain's opposition Labour Party would keep the option for a second vote on any Brexit deal struck with the European Union on the table but it would prefer a national election to sort out the issue, its finance spokesman said on Monday.

Labour's official position is to push for an election if Brexit talks fail.

"Jeremy Corbyn this morning proved he is not fit to govern our country", Brandon Lewis, the party's chairman, said on Sunday.

As Labour's conference officially begins in Liverpool on Sunday, a march of MPs, MEPs, union leaders and activists will attempt to put pressure on the party to throw its weight behind a so-called People's Vote.

The Conservative Party's chairman, Brandon Lewis, accused Labour of breaking "their promises" and taking "us back to square one on Brexit".

Should Labour judge May's plans to have negative outcome in response to the above questions, then the party is likely to vote down her Chequers plan in the commons.


Leading trade unionists and Labour's shadow Brexit Secretary agreed the wording of the motion based on submissions from scores of constituency parties during a four-hour meeting that broke up just before midnight on Sunday.

We asked shoppers in Maidstone.

John McDonnell has said any new referendum should be on the deal.

Corbyn has so far tried to avoid the divisive subject, instead sticking to promoting a domestic social agenda that helped him upset the odds at last year's general election and strip May of her parliamentary majority.

And the first day of the annual event kicked off with a protest through Liverpool city centre, with hundreds of marchers making a direct plea to Mr Corbyn to "listen to us" and campaign for another vote.

He added that the referendum "opened up all sorts of xenophobic feelings and a rise of the right" adding "I don't want to revive Ukip in any way or even the far-right".

"If we end up in situation where Theresa May can't command the support of Parliament, and I really can't imagine how she'll be able to do that, we really need to be able to have a general election".

But he told BBC Radio 4's Today: "If we are going to respect the referendum it will be about the deal".

And with the governing Conservatives in disarray, there are growing calls for Corbyn to take the lead - something he said he was ready to do if May did not get her deal through parliament.

Influential union leader Len McCluskey said it would be wrong for Labour to start campaigning for a second referendum.

  • Tracy Klein