Brexit betrayal: 80 Labour MPs pressure Corbyn to demand second referendum

The MPs, including shadow ministers, sent a letter to Mr Corbyn and members of the shadow cabinet on Saturday, following three days of cross party talks. The letter highlighted any concessions secured in the talks cannot be guaranteed, so a referendum will be a “necessary safeguard”. The letter said: "Theresa May has been clear that the legally binding part of the Brexit deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, cannot be renegotiated.

"This means that the only concessions Labour could obtain will be non-binding assurances about the future relationship.

“Any future Tory prime minister could simply rip up these 'guarantees' after Theresa May leaves office, and it is the stated aim of the vast majority of Tory MPs to do precisely this.

"The only way to guarantee jobs, rights and protections - and Labour's reputation with its membership and the electorate - is to support a confirmatory public vote on any option which is agreed by Parliament, which will put additional pressure on the Government to hold the early general election the country needs."

The letter, which was set up by the Love Socialism Hate Brexit campaign group, went on to say the deal does not meet Labour’s six tests.

This means the deal should be put to a public vote, under the policy passed at a Labour Party conference last September. 

The letter said: “Any compromise deal which is now agreed by Parliament will have no legitimacy if it is not confirmed by the public.

“The views of members are clear. Labour’s democratically established policy, passed at party conference in September 2018, is to oppose a Brexit deal which does not meet Labour’s six tests and put any deal that does to a public vote.

“It would be untenable for Labour not to insist on a public vote on a deal which did not meet these tests.”

Some of the six tests for the Brexit deal included whether it ensured a strong future relationship with the EU, as well as whether it delivered for all regions and nations of the UK.

The deal also needed to make sure it delivered the “exact same benefits” the UK currently gets as members of the Single Market and Customs Union, along with whether it ensured the fair management of migration in the interests of the economy and communities. 

But not all members of the Labour party are backing the calls for a second referendum. 

Another letter signed by 25 MPs argued against another public vote on Thursday. 

The letter warned another referendum would “divide the country further and add uncertainty for business”.

There were also fears this could be “exploited by the far-right, damage the trust of many core Labour voters and reduce our chances of winning a general election.”

Mrs May said this afternoon the talks with Labour would require "compromise on both sides".

She said in a video message: "There are lots of things on which I disagree with the Labour Party on policy issues.

"But on Brexit I think there are some things we agree on: ending free movement, ensuring we leave with a good deal, protecting jobs, protecting security.

"And so we are talking. Can we find a way through this that ensures that we can get a good deal and a deal agreed through Parliament?

"It'll mean compromise on both sides but I believe that delivering Brexit is the most important thing for us."

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