Jeremy Corbyn announced on Sunday that his party would vote for an amendment aimed at securing a second Brexit referendum.
This amendment aims at putting the latest iteration of May’s withdrawal agreement to a confirmatory referendum, likely putting to the British public whether the United Kingdom should leave the EU on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement or remain within the 28 state political and economic union. Following last weeks motion which ruled out a no deal Brexit, it is unlikely any referendum will put a no deal on the table.
Labour planned to put this proposed amendment, the Kyle-Wilson amendment (named after the two Labour MPs who drew up the amendments: Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson) forward this week in the event that May’s deal was brought back to Parliament, however, this is unlikely to happen following John Bercrow’s declaration that the deal cannot go back to parliament in its current form.
It is also believed that Kier Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, were consulted over the precise wording.
Corbyn told Sky “I had a very good discussion with Phil Wilson and Peter Kyle last week and we went through what they’re trying to do, which is make sure people do have a say in the final matter, and that we agree with and support.”
Gareth Snell, Labour MP for Stoke Central, showed disdain for the amendment as “its an option we’ve already voted down twice and said it doesn’t deliver what leave voters voted for”.
Snell was referring to the Wollaston amendment, which was put forward by Sarah Wollaston (former Tory MP but now with the Independent Group.) This amendment sought a delay for a new referendum, which would have remain as a an option but was defeated by a majority of 249.
Seventeen Labour MPs voted against the whip to vote against the amendment rather than abstain, with five junior frontbenchers resigning in order to do so.
The People’s vote campaign also went against the vote, as they believed it was not “the right time to test support for a people’s vote.”