Former minister: Corbyn is ‘gradually moving’ towards People’s Vote

PUBLISHED: 09:08 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:08 30 November 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn is “gradually moving” towards a People’s Vote, the former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw has insisted.

He pointed to comments by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who suggested another vote is “inevitable” if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is blocked by Parliament.

And Straw highlighted a proposed amendment to the draft Withdrawal Agreement, submitted by a cross-party group of Remain-backing MPs, but with Labour support, as a step towards that.

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He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Hilary Benn’s proposal to ensure that there can’t be no deal, that is a staging post to having a second referendum.”

And the ex-cabinet minister dismissed the suggestion this would be a “denial of the democratic rights” of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit.

He replied: “I don’t see why it should.”

Straw was speaking after he wrote an article with two other former foreign secretaries, David Miliband and Dame Margaret Beckett, who argued Britain’s position of influence in the world will be diminished by Brexit, and urging for a second referendum.

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They wrote: “This deal is not good enough for a vast number of reasons, but one of them is that it diminishes our influence on the global stage. Parliament should reject it and send the decision back to the people for a ‘People’s Vote’ referendum. This would allow them to ‘take back control’ and decide for themselves whether this Brexit deal is better than the one we already have, inside the club.”

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