Labour under pressure to support a ‘final say’ on Brexit

PUBLISHED: 09:54 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 10 May 2018

Jeremy Corbyn addressing party supporters at Labour Party Conference in 2017. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Jeremy Corbyn addressing party supporters at Labour Party Conference in 2017. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

2017 Getty Images

A new poll shows that 71% of Labour supporters would back a new referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

The survey conducted by BMG Research for the Left Foot Forward website found that a significant majority of supporters would back another vote in the event of Theresa May failing to agree a post-Brexit deal.

The figure - which excludes ‘don’t knows’ - compares to a third of Conservative supporters that would back another vote.

Overall 53% of voters support another say if Theresa May failed to secure a preferential trade or customs arrangement with the EU compared to 47% that are against it.

The findings are likely to pile on pressure on the Labour leadership which has so far ruled out support for giving people a final say.

Eloise Todd, Best for Britain CEO, commented: “People want a final say – and this poll is yet more evidence of that. People voted for departure, and we should let them vote on the destination – especially as crashing out of Europe in a No Deal Brexit is still a possibility.”

Francis Grove-White from Open Britain added: “Whether you think Brexit is a good deal or a bad deal, we all agree that it’s a big deal. It cannot be left up to just 650 MPs in Westminster to decide: the 65 million people of this country must have their voices heard as well.”

This week five Labour MPs from constituencies in the North East have called for a “people’s vote” claiming people voted for Brexit “without knowing in reality what the final Brexit deal would look like”.

Writing in the Independent, Phil Wilson (Sedgefield), Paul Williams (Stockton South), Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South), Anna Turley (Redcar) and Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle North) warn that the region risks losing its status as an “export powerhouse” if Britain leaves the customs union and the single market.

They said: “How do we decide if the deal we are offered on Brexit is the right one for the Northeast?

“Will it be good enough for the exporters who provide so many of the jobs on which our regional economy depends?

“Companies such as Nissan in Sunderland, Hitachi in County Durham and those in the chemical processing industry on Teesside provide thousands of jobs and see their future as part of the EU customs union and single market.

The group’s comments echoed those made by fellow Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who is pushing a European Union Withdrawal Agreement (Public Vote) Bill in the House of Commons.

He said: “New facts have emerged about Brexit which could never have been known at the time of the referendum. We now know that the promises made about Brexit, like £350 million a week extra for the NHS and getting a deal with the exact same benefits, won’t be kept.

“And who knew that Brexit negotiators would be willing to hand over £40 billion in order to leave the EU and for a much worse relationship.

“With negotiations obviously not going well and the Cabinet not able to agree amongst itself even on future customs arrangements and what to do about the Northern Ireland border, it is more and more likely that the Government will present us with a poor deal.

“In those circumstances why should our country, our fellow citizens, have to accept it without having had any chance to influence the hard Brexit the Government looks like it is going to deliver? We have gone from the fastest growing economy in the G7 to the slowest.”

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