Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says party would back remain in a second Brexit referendum

VOTE SUPPORT: Corbyn said Labour would push for a second Brexit referendum and campaign for remain. Credit: Shutterstock

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has told party members he would throw the opposition’s weight behind remaining in the EU if there if is a second Brexit referendum.

Corbyn told party members in an email Labour’s ‘settled’ Brexit policy now meant it would call for any deal struck by the next British prime minister to be put to a public vote.

Current Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor should also offer the public a say if they plan to leave the EU without a deal, Corbyn added.

“I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for remain against either no deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs,” Corbyn said.

Corbyn added he had tried to build support for Britain remaining in a customs union with the EU.

He said he still believed this was a ‘sensible alternative’ to the draft withdrawal deal reached by the government.

The announcement comes as the Labour leader has faced mounting pressure to throw the party’s weight behind a second referendum in which it would support remain.

Shadow Chancellor and Corbyn ally John McDonnell has said in recent weeks Labour should ‘get on’ with developing a clear Brexit policy and added he wanted to campaign to remain.

He said he backed Corbyn, who held off from stating the party’s latest position on Brexit until today (Tuesday), because he was attempting to build a consensus.

The Labour leader has been in talks with trade unions and other stakeholders about which approach the party should take to Brexit.

It follows statements in support of a second referendum, or people’s vote, from high profile Labour figures including Deputy Leader Tom Watson.

Watson said he had decided to back a second vote because it was the best of a series of bad options.

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Joe Gerrard

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