Labour likely to back public vote on UK PM’s deal, says Corbyn

Britain’s Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn sits on stage at the annual Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Britain. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn signalled on Sunday he would back a proposal by lawmakers to hold a public vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal if it was approved by parliament.

May is expected to stage another vote on her deal to leave the European Union this week, but two of her ministers indicated on Sunday the Conservative government would only do so if there was the support to get it approved.

Corbyn, who has been reluctant to stage a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, has long said he would act to stop what he calls a “botched” Conservative Brexit.

On Sunday, he said Labour would most probably back a proposal, or an amendment, drawn up by two Labour lawmakers, Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, which would seek a “confirmation ballot” if May’s deal is passed by parliament.

“Yes, we will be supporting it but we’ve obviously got to see the wording of it,” he told Sky News, adding that Labour would not support May’s deal.

“The priority is to make sure that we don’t crash out on March 29.”

Corbyn has long been under pressure by members of his party to back a second referendum, or People’s Vote, on Britain’s membership of the EU but fears alienating those Labour voters who backed Brexit.