Labour to ‘make case for’ second EU referendum

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Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary said the party would be “making the case” for a second EU referendum when Boris Johnson’s deal is put before parliament on Saturday.

SNP sources indicated they would back a motion to put the agreement to a public vote, which would also win the support of the Liberal Democrats.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Kier Starmer with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Kier Starmer with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn cast doubt on whether a vote on a second EU referendum would take place at the weekend, telling journalists yesterday: “It won’t come up on Saturday I suspect.”

Speaking at a gathering of European socialist leaders in Brussels, Mr Corbyn: “This sell-out deal won’t bring the country together and should be rejected.

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“The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote.”

But he said discussion of a second EU referendum - which has divided the Labour Party for months - was “high-level speculation on a hypothetical question”.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the party would be making the case for a referendum on the PM’s deal on what is being dubbed “super Saturday”.

“If Boris Johnson has confidence in his deal, he should put it back to the people in a public vote against Remain - and that is an argument we will be making on Saturday,” the opposition frontbencher tweeted.

Sir Keir said the new deal “paves the way for a decade of deregulation” and argued it would give the Government “licence to slash” worker, environment and consumer protections.

Meanwhile, the SNP said it would put forward a motion to reject Mr Johnson’s deal and move to an election.

Westminster leader Ian Blackford called on opposition parties to “quit dithering, back our amendment, and finally act to bring this appalling Tory government down and stop Brexit”.