Labour party will support second referendum, says Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that his Labour party will support a second referendum to “prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country”.

Corbyn will tell his MPs that he will support a second referendum motion, or launch one to avoid a Conservative Brexit.

“The prime minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous no-deal.

“We cannot and will not accept. [Labour] will do everything in our power to prevent no-deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal”.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said if Labour’s amendment is rejected the party will then “deliver on the promise we made at our annual conference and support a public vote”.

The move is a significant shift in position for the Labour leader, who has been under pressure to back a second referendum for months.

The party will also back an amendment from Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tory MP Oliver Letwin, which is aimed at stopping Britain leaving without a deal.

Labour MP David Lammy, a backer of the People’s Vote campaign, said: “These are dangerous times for the Labour Party and our country.

“Jeremy Corbyn is today taking the first step to reunite our party by showing he is listening to our voters and members on this, the biggest issue of our time.”

Another Labour MP, Clive Lewis, said the announcement was a “hugely positive step”.

The Best for Britain supporter added: “With this announcement we’re now offering real and unambiguous opposition to Tory Brexit and giving the public the final say on the issue.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the move was “the right decision for London – and for the whole country – to give the public their say for the first time on a final Brexit deal”.

Remain MPs and Downing Street are yet to comment.

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