Labour politicians have broken rank to declare support for a fresh EU referendum – calling for Jeremy Corbyn to support a People’s Vote.
In a letter – signed by 71 Labour MPs and 13 MEPs – the politicians claim that there are more preparing to support the final say referendum should the Labour leader’s vote of no confidence fail.
They have told Corbyn that further talks with the EU are no longer realistic.
The move intensifies pressure on Corbyn to move quickly, after senior Labour figures indicated that the party was ready to table repeated no-confidence challenges to May if the initial vote does not succeed in ousting her.
A motion passed at the party’s conference last autumn made clear that a general election is Labour’s priority, but stated that if this was not possible, the party would ‘support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote’.
The letter says: ‘We now face a moment of national crisis, where the facts and the views of many people have changed – and are continuing to change.
‘It is now clear renegotiation is not a realistic prospect.’
Among signatories to the letter were MPs from Leave and Remain-backing constituencies from all parts of Britain, including the party’s former acting leader Dame Margaret Beckett, ex-ministers like Ben Bradshaw and Chris Bryant, and former leadership contender Owen Smith.
The letter is signed by 71 Labour MPs and 13 MEPs with more backers are expected in the coming days.
Meanwhile the party’s MPs have expressed outrage that the prime minister has indicated she will not discuss her future Brexit proposals with opposition parties.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband tweeted: ‘Refusing to talk to the Leader of the Opposition and sticking to failed red lines would be a woeful failure to rise to the moment. Strongly urge the Prime Minister to try and do so.’
Yvette Cooper, a former cabinet minister, tweeted: ‘Andrea Leadsom making a mockery of Theresa May’s proposal for cross party talks this morning.
‘Ludicrous and unworkable if PM won’t even talk to Jeremy Corbyn and other party leaders. PM has to accept she failed by 230 votes – she can’t just keep digging in.’