UK: Corbyn endorses second referendum after May stonewalls on her Brexit plan


UK: Corbyn endorses second referendum after May stonewalls on her Brexit plan

Chris Marsden

22 January 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed an amendment calling for Parliament to be able to vote on whether to hold a second referendum on retaining membership of the European Union (EU). The move does not commit Corbyn to back a referendum were one to be held. It presents the “People’s Vote” demanded by his Blairite opponents as an alternative should Parliament not back Labour’s proposed alternative Brexit plan seeking tariff-free access to the Single European Market via a customs union—or some alternative deal that wins a parliamentary majority.

However, Corbyn has once again ceded to his party’s right wing even at the risk of alienating MPs sceptical of the impact of a second referendum on support for Labour—especially following polls suggesting up to a third of potential Labour voters oppose a second vote.

He is no longer speaking of demanding a general election, after last week’s defeat of a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government—after her pro-hard-Brexit MPs and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) backed her after voting against her proposed deal.

Corbyn’s alternative Brexit plan will now come under ferocious attack for being unrealisable under EU rules from the advocates of Remain.

Labour’s amendments came after May’s presentation of her “Plan B” for Britain’s leaving the EU proved to be more or less a restatement of her “Plan A.” She was forced to return to the Commons to deliver a statement and take questions from over 100 MPs for over two hours after the rejection of her Withdrawal Agreement and failed vote of no-confidence necessitated negotiations with opposition parties that continued Monday…

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