Labour Bottle Second Referendum Pledge

After last night’s unmitigated horror show for the Government, now would have been an obvious time for Labour to formally commit to their second referendum policy by tabling an amendment calling for one today. Instead Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner went out on Peston to say that a second referendum would be “disastrous”. Meanwhile John McDonnell has told GMB that the “only reason” Labour would support one was “if there was a logjam in Parliament that had to be broken”. Surely longtime Eurosceptic Jeremy Corbyn didn’t just commit to one to stop more MPs defecting to the TIGgers, rather than because he actually meant it..?

As things stand Labour have only tabled an amendment which takes out the condition in May’s delay motion that she will only seek an extension if the deal hasn’t passed by next Wednesday. The lonely Lib Dems have tabled a second referendum amendment. As of this morning no Labour MPs had even put their names to it…

Meanwhile a huge group of cross-party MPs have tabled an amendment which rejects a second referendum, with over 100 signatories already and Labour MPs John Mann, Gareth Snell and Caroline Flint as leading co-signatories. Labour will surely have to whip against it, but there are many Labour frontbenchers who will be seriously unhappy voting against it. After last night’s utter farce with 29 MPs on the Government payroll defying a three-line whip without consequences, could Labour suffer the same humiliation tonight?

UPDATE: Sure enough, Labour failed to support the second referendum amendment today. It was crushed by 334 to just 85…


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