Labour faces tremendous pressure to back second EU referendum
Jeremy Corbyn has been urged to throw his weight behind a second Brexit referendum, to unite the Labour movement and prevent an “economic catastrophe”.
Senior Labour MP David Lammy said there was growing momentum for a so-called People’s Vote on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
He said the party leadership will come under “tremendous” pressure at the party’s conference later this month to back a second vote.
Labour has so far not ruled out a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal, but senior figures including Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have argued that they would rather have a general election than a plebiscite.
Despite Brexit being the major political issue at Westminster, Labour has spent recent months mired in internal disputes over how to respond to claims of anti-Semitism.
Former minister Mr Lammy suggested that publicly supporting a referendum could help the party move on from its divisions.
He told the Press Association: “I think the irony of the European position is that is the big policy issue of our times.
“I actually think it could unite the party as there is a growing momentum.
“In the end no political party can expect to be the party of government if it is a party that is totally absorbed in internal issues and is divided.
“It has to be a united party, we need to get back to policy and the issue, the pressing issue in our country, is are we going to have a no-deal or are we going to have an extremely poor deal and the economic catastrophe that flows from that.
“That is the critical issue and it really does need Labour now to understand that it can lead on this issue of a People’s Vote.”