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Montevideo, September 22nd 2020 - 17:23 UTC

 

 

Labour deputy leader has called for a “confirmatory ballot” on Brexit

Monday, April 29th 2019 - 09:55 UTC
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Watson recalled in a BBC interview that the party's policy agreed at last year's conference was to go for a referendum “to stop a no-deal or a bad Tory Brexit.” Watson recalled in a BBC interview that the party's policy agreed at last year's conference was to go for a referendum “to stop a no-deal or a bad Tory Brexit.”

Labor's deputy leader has stepped up calls for his party to promise a referendum on any Brexit deal in its European elections manifesto. Tom Watson urged party members to message Labor's ruling national executive committee to call for a “confirmatory ballot” pledge.

The NEC meets on Tuesday to decide on Labor's campaign manifesto. But frontbencher Barry Gardiner said a referendum on any Brexit deal would be a change in Labour policy.

The shadow international trade secretary told BBC Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics that the party's policy agreed at last year's conference was to go for a referendum “to stop a no-deal or a bad Tory Brexit.”

He added: “If we are being pushed into a no-deal by this government, we will have a second referendum. But we want to try - and that's why we're in there with the government now - trying to deliver on what people voted for.”

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in central London last month to call for another EU referendum.

Labour agreed a policy at its last conference that if Parliament voted down the government's deal or talks end in no-deal, there should be a general election. But if it cannot force one, it added, the party “must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote”.

However, following parliamentary deadlock and a refusal by MPs to approve the withdrawal deal negotiated between the EU and UK, Labour has entered into cross-party talks with the Conservatives to see if they can reach a consensus.

And many Labour members now want the party to make its agreement to any deal conditional on it being put to a public vote - what Labour calls a “confirmatory ballot”.

Watson has been among figures calling for that pledge to be included in Labor's European Parliamentary elections campaign, arguing it is needed to counter the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage's newly formed Brexit Party.

On Friday it emerged that more than 90 Labour MPs and MEPs had written to the NEC, urging a “clear commitment” to a public vote on any Brexit deal agreed.

Categories: Politics, International.

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