LABOUR is now promising to campaign for Remain in any new EU referendum against ‘no deal or a damaging Tory Brexit’.
The shift in Labour’s stance was spelt out by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he challenged the next prime minister ‘to put their deal to the people’.
In a letter to members, he said: ‘Whoever becomes the new prime minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or no deal, back to the people in a public vote.
‘In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either no deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.’
The announcement follows a shadow cabinet meeting yesterday morning, and a meeting with trade union leaders on Monday.
The leaders of Labour’s five-biggest affiliated unions called for the move the party has made – but also for it to hold a ‘confirmatory vote’ on any new deal it negotiates if Labour wins a general election.
Deputy leader Tom Watson opposed the unions’ position demanding a ‘straight Remain stance’.
Watson is among leading figures who have called for an unambiguously pro-Remain stance amid criticism that confusion over Labour’s message contributed to its poor performance in the recent European Parliament elections.
But MPs from Leave areas of the UK are continuing to warn that this could damage Labour’s next election performance.
In his letter, Corbyn said Labour continues to believe the ‘compromise plan’ set out for Brexit during cross-party talks with the government earlier this year is still a ‘sensible alternative that could bring the country together’.
This includes a customs union, a strong single market relationship and the protection of environmental regulations and rights at work.
He also renewed calls for a general election saying Labour has a ‘crucial, historic duty to safeguard jobs, rights and living standards, but no Brexit outcome alone can do that.’