BREAKING: Labour to table public vote to prevent Tory Brexit plans
Jeremy Corbyn has announced that the party will seek to table an amendment to the government's flagship Brexit bill that would 'prevent a damaging Tory Brexit'.
At tonight's meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Corbyn will set out Labour's planned changes to the Brexit law, which would see a "No Deal" Brexit ruled out, and the UK remaining in a permanent customs union with the EU.
The party will also seek to maintain "close alignment with the Single Market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations", and keep the UK in the European Arrest Warrant and continued participation in several EU environmental and educational agencies and programmes.
Critically, the Corbyn will also announce that Labour will back the Cooper-Letwin amendment, which would Article 50 in the event that Theresa May is again unable to pass her deal, and take the future parliamentary timetable out of the hands of the government.
Speaking at tonight’s meeting of the PLP, Jeremy Corbyn is expected to warn that Labour cannot accept the PM "recklessly running down the clock" in order to force May's deal through parliament.
In statements briefed to the press, Corbyn will also say that: "One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent No Deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal."
“That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.”
The move follows comments by the EU Commission President, Donald Tusk, this morning also called for the measure as a "rational solution" to prevent No Deal from occuring.
“I can say first of all that Prime Minster May and I discussed yesterday a lot of issues, including the legal and procedural context of a potential extension,” said Tusk, adding: “For me, it’s absolutely clear that there is no majority in the House of Commons to approve a deal."
“We will face an alternative: a chaotic Brexit or extension. The less time there is until 29 March, the greater the likelihood of an extension. And this is an objective fact, not our intention, not our plan, but an objective fact. I believe in the situation we are in, an extension would be a rational solution.”
However, although the parliamentary arithmetic for a delay to the Brexit process is feasible, it remains unclear how the numbers to pass the amendment calling for a popular vote on the Brexit deal could be achieved, given the voracious opposition of many Tory MPs to the idea.