News | Published April 29 2019

Labour faces internal battle over ‘confirmatory vote’

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has called upon the party to include a second referendum in their new manifesto.

Tomorrow, Labour’s national executive committee will decide on the final contents of the Labour manifesto and thus whether a confirmatory vote will become official Labour policy.

There is conflict within the party as to whether another referendum would remain true to the party’s promises.

In last year’s conference, Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would not rule out a second referendum if the alternative was to leave the EU without a deal.

Barry Gardiner, however, says that putting a second referendum in the manifesto at this stage would ignore the cross-party negotiations currently going on behind closed doors.

This comes at a time when a substantial portion of the Parliamentary Labour Party has called for another public vote on Brexit.

Watson is among those who have said that such a policy is necessary to combat the electoral force of the Brexit Party, which is currently performing well in the polls.

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, shadow communities secretary, seemed more ambivalent about which stance to take. He told Andrew Marr:

“I want to ensure that we avoid a bad Tory Brexit or a no-deal scenario. In those circumstances, yes, I think that wasn't on the ballot paper in 2016. We should then perhaps ask the people.

"But let's see what comes out of these talks because I hope that the government can move on some of these red lines so that we can get a more sensible approach towards Brexit going forwards.”

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Authored by

Thomas Wilson
Political Editor
April 29 2019

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