Jeremy Corbyn set to cave into pressure on a People’s Vote

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outside the polling station in Islington where he voted in the European

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outside the polling station in Islington where he voted in the European Parliament elections. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn looks set to finally move closer to a People's Vote after caving into pressure from his own frontbenchers - but he is likely to fall short of Tom Watson's call to be decisively Remain.

A Labour source told the Times that Corbyn will commit himself to the policy drawn up in a paper by Andrew Fisher, the leadership's head of policy.

It would move Labour from demanding a customs union as part of a Brexit deal, a general election or a People's Vote to making the party's stance more supportive of a second referendum.

One Labour source told the newspaper: "It's a moment."

But Corbyn is likely to fall short of making the party's position decisively Remain.

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Figures in the party including John McDonnell, Emily Thronberry and Tom Watson have been pushing for a change in approach to Brexit since the European elections.

On Monday, Watson delivered a speech declaring that within the party "our hearts are Remain."

He said: "My party should be making the case for staying in the EU loudly and proudly.

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"We should be making that case because our dreams of transforming this country are best aided inside the EU, not out in the cold having wrecked our economy."

But supporters of a People's Vote have faced resistance from Seumas Milne, Corbyn's head of communications, Labour party chairman Ian Lavery and MPs in Leave seats including Gloria de Piero and Lisa Nandy.

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A shadow cabinet member said that the change in policy was inevitable.

Speaking to the Times, they said: "It is a question of getting on the front foot now or having it forced upon us at conference.

"I've previously been sceptical but I don't think there is a choice any more."

Another source was more cynical about it winning back Remain voters, telling the Express: "Jeremy could run down Whitehall in a People's Vote onesie and a lot of people would still not be convinced that he really believed it, he has got a lot of work to do to ensure that the message is clear and unambiguous."

While it is expected that the Labour leader will set out the position in a speech off the back of the paper, the policy will not be formally adopted until Labour Party conference.

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