The Labour party begins its annual conference in Liverpool today where leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to face pressure to support a referendum on any final Brexit deal.
Corbyn and his supporters have long argued against a second referendum; keenly aware that millions of working class Labour voters backed Brexit in 2016. However, prior to this conference, over 100 party branches filed motions backing a second referendum on any final Brexit deal. Consequently, the matter has been thrust onto the conference agenda.
Most notably, key sections of Corbyn’s own faction—like grassroots activist group, Momentum, and key trade unions—are now aligning with rival Blairites and pro-remainers for a second vote. Furthermore, recent polling figured that supporting a second vote is worth an extra 1.5 million votes for Labour at the next election.
However, there is no sign of Corbyn relenting. The growing insistence for a second poll is then in danger of turning into a major party-wide ruction as the countdown to Brexit nears in 2019. Corbyn may win the argument at this conference but the party may ultimately force an about-face if, as many MPs expect, Theresa May cannot get any Brexit deal through parliament.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
John is a Senior Analyst with an interest in Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Master of International Relations (Australian National University) graduate with study focus on the Indo-Pacific. Qualified lawyer (University of Auckland, NZ) with experience in post-colonial Pacific & NZ legal systems.