Britain's Labour keeps second Brexit referendum on table


Britain is to exit the European Union in March next year after months of talks that have again exposed the deep divides in both the country's main parties - the Conservatives are all but at war with each other and Labour is also at odds over how to leave.

On Sunday, the campaign for a People's Vote said its supporters were pleased with "signs that the Labour leadership was listening to its membership".

'Let's see what comes out of conference.

Mr Corbyn (left) and Tom Watson took to the stage at Labour conference together yesterday.

"Of course we're a democratic party, but before we get that we want a general election, because this government has made a complete fist of Brexit, they haven't been able to negotiate a deal", he said.

Brexit has so far largely dominated this year's party conference, a meeting of Labour members who are increasingly confident that Corbyn will soon be leading a government.

Labour's potential backing for a second Brexit referendum will be conditional on whether Theresa May fails to receive the support she needs for her Chequers proposal in parliament.

Ever since the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to leave the EU, Labour has said it will respect the result - but it wants a closer relationship with the bloc than the one that Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government is seeking.

"Because we deserve that right to discuss our children's future and our grandchildren's future".

Brexit: Labour conference vote wording agreed
Mr Watson told The Observer: "Jeremy and I were elected in 2015 to give the Labour Party back to its members". The leader of Unite said any second vote on Brexit should not be asking if the public want to stay in the EU.

And he indicated that even if the decision on the European Union was put to the public in a referendum, the choice would be between accepting a deal or returning to the negotiating table rather than the option of remaining inside the bloc.

But for his backers, the motion does little to change his position that Labour prefers a general election to a second vote, which will ask a different question from the one posed at the 2016 referendum which showed a narrow margin for leave.

The comments revived memories of the party's battles of the 1980s, when then leader Neil Kinnock denounced "the grotesque chaos of a Labour council - a Labour council - hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers".

MPs joined anti-Brexit protests at the gathering in Liverpool yesterday, and deputy leader Tom Watson urged a debate on the issue on the conference floor.

Ms Butler's remarks were "far from what we should be standing for as a party", one Labour MP told the Press Association.

"I want a general election yesterday", he said. "I really welcome this announcement from the NEC today, I think it's absolutely essential that we have got a woman somewhere near the top of the party".

He told BBC Radio 5 Live it would be wrong for Labour to start campaigning for a second referendum.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other party chiefs oppose the idea, saying Labour must honor voters' 2016 decision to leave. "We desperately need a general election".