Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that Labour is calling for a public vote on any Brexit deal after months of heated debate within the party.
He said a second referendum would need to contain “real choices” for both Leave and Remain voters
The announcement follows poor results for the party in the European and local elections, and a narrow victory in the Peterborough by-election.
The leadership is hoping the concession will appease members who hit back at Labour over the party’s perceived fence-sitting over Brexit.
Labour MPs reported they were told by members during the EU vote that they were switching to pro-Remain parties.
But it will not go far enough for some Labour politicians such as Tom Watson who called for a second referendum in any case at a speech at the beginning of the week.
While today 26 MPs predominantly from Leave seats urged the Labour leadership against a second referendum which would be “toxic to our bedrock Labour voters,
Rother Valley MP Sir Kevin Barron, Burnley’s Julie Cooper, Don Valley’s Caroline Flint, and Rotherham’s Sarah Champion signed a letter which said a second vote risked driving a wedge between traditional voters and the party.
They said that backing a second vote would “give the populist right an even greater platform in our heartlands”.
Mr Corbyn told the shadow cabinet meeting: “We have committed to respecting the result of the referendum, and have strongly made the case for an alternative plan for Brexit as the only serious deal that could potentially command the support of the House.
“At Conference last year we passed our policy, the members’ policy. Over the past nine months, I have stuck faithfully to it.
“A No Deal Brexit risks would plunge us into the worst excesses of disaster capitalism and trash our economy on the back of fantasy Tory trade deals or worse, very real and very damaging trade deals with Donald Trump, opening up our NHS to American companies.
“I have already made the case, on the media and in Dublin, that it is now right to demand that any deal is put to a public vote. That is in line with our conference policy which agreed a public vote would be an option.
“A ballot paper would need to contain real choices for both leave and remain voters. This will of course depend on Parliament.
“I want to hear your views, I will be hearing trade union views next week, and then I want to set out our views to the public.”