British opposition calls for a vote on holding second referendum
London: Britain’s opposition Labour Party said the House of Commons should be able to vote on whether to hold a second referendum in an amendment it submitted to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit update.
It is the first time Labour has asked MPs to formally consider a second poll although the amendment on Monday night did not commit the party’s leadership to back a referendum if such a vote were to take place, reports the Guardian.
The amendment called for May’s government to hold a vote on two options – its alternative Brexit plan and whether to legislate “to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition” that is supported by a majority in the Commons.
The party’s alternative Brexit plan, which would be the subject of a separate vote if the amendment were carried, proposes that the UK remain in a post-Brexit customs union with the European Union (EU) and have a strong relationship with the single market.
Citizens’ rights and consumer standards would be harmonised with the EU’s.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Our amendment will allow MPs to vote on options to end this Brexit deadlock and prevent the chaos of a no-deal.
“It is time for Labour’s alternative plan to take centre stage, while keeping all options on the table, including the option of a public vote.”
But second referendum campaigners criticized the alternative Brexit plan, the Guardian said.
The People’s Vote campaign said on Monday night that it was one of a series of Brexit promises – like no-deal – that were being made with “little regard for what could actually be delivered”.
A total of 71 Labour MPs declared they supported a second referendum.
The amendment announcement comes after May on Monday evening provided a “Plan B” in an effort to break the ongoing deadlock over Brexit negotiations. She sought the EU for further concessions on a plan to prevent customs check on the Irish border.