Politics

Jeremy Corbyn to back plan to put Theresa May’s Brexit deal to referendum vote

Labour is ready to throw its support behind a bid to hold a referendum on Theresa May’s deal later this week.

Mr Corbyn said the party will likely back an amendment by two Labour backbenchers which would allow Mrs May’s deal through parliament in return for putting it to a public vote.

Speaking on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday he said the party would likely whip MPs to back the deal once he has "seen the wording"

But Mr Corbyn wouldn’t be draw on on how he would vote in any referendum saying  it would “depend” on the deal on offer.

The agreement for the Labour leadership to throw itself behind the amendment written by MPs Phil Wilson and Peter Kyle came after tense negotiation in the last few week.

It comes as the Labour leader reached out to all sides of the Brexit divide in a bid to break the deadlock.

The Kyle-Wilson amendment is likely to be tabled when Theresa May brings her deal for a third Meaningful Vote on Tuesday.

Mr Kyle said backing his amendment would allow Parliament to avoid chaos.

He said:“My fear is we will lurch into wildly unpredictable territory, such as a disastrous general election or Britain crashing out of the EU, with the UK seen as a basket-case country the like of which Europe has not seen for a long time.”

Mr Corbyn is appealing to Labour, Tory, DUP, SNP , Lib Dems and Welsh Nats to help him thrash out a compromise acceptable to MPs.

He has now invited the various factions to join him in talks with shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

In a letter to the MPs Mr Corbyn wrote: “It must now be incumbent on us to do our best to work together and find a solution that ends the needless uncertainty.”

Mr Corbyn said the starting point would be Labour’s Norway plus proposal for a customs union and single market alignment.

But he added: “We are keen to see if there is scope to find common ground between our respective proposals and to work together to break the impasse.”

The letter is going our to the likes of Labour’s Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper who tabled amendments to Theresa May ’s withdrawal deal.

But the labour leader wants to also meet with DUP and SNP Westminster leaders Nigel Dodds and Ian Blackford, Lib Dem chief Vice Cable and Tory grandee Remainer Ken Clarke.

Mr Corbyn said: “I look forward to constructive discussions with the aim of securing a sensible way forward that can win the support of parliament and bring the country back together.”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell yesterday said a compromise could be put to voters in a second referendum.

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