Britain's Labour Party to vote on motion including 2nd Brexit referendum: BBC

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said earlier he would back a second Brexit referendum if his Labour Party voted to pursue the move.
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said earlier he would back a second Brexit referendum if his Labour Party voted to pursue the move.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's opposition Labour Party will vote on a motion this week to keep all options on the table including a second Brexit referendum if the party cannot get a national election, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said on Twitter.

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said earlier he would back a second Brexit referendum if his Labour Party voted to pursue the move, heaping pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May, whose plans for a divorce deal with the European Union have hit an impasse.

He also said he preferred a new election to a new referendum on Brexit, reluctant to back growing demands to support a “People’s Vote” on Britain’s decision to quit the EU for fear of losing those Labour members who voted to leave. 

After about a five-hour meeting of party members, Labour will vote on a motion that, according to the BBC and Guardian newspaper, says: “If we cannot get a general election, Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.”

Britain is to exit the EU in March next year. But little is clear after Mrs May’s plans for Brexit – the biggest shift in British policy for more than four decades – were resoundingly rebuffed by the EU last Thursday (Sept 20), with any outcome of the negotiations more uncertain than ever. 

With talk of a new election swirling and chances of a disorderly departure that could damage the economy rising, the opposition party is under pressure to set the Brexit agenda. 

But it is not clear how far the new motion will take a party that has said for some time that a second referendum is not off the table.