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Campaigners bid to change Labour's Brexit stance

By Alan McGuinness, political reporter
Campaigners who want a second Brexit referendum are launching a bid to change Labour's stance on the issue, according to a leaked memo.
The People's Vote campaign, which is lobbying for a vote on the final deal Prime Minister Theresa May secures with the EU, will attempt to secure a motion on the issue at the party's annual conference in Liverpool next month.The group wants MPs and activists to submit a motion calling for a referendum on the withdrawal agreement with Brussels before Britain leaves in March.At present it is not Labour Party policy to support a second referendum, but a number of senior figures have said this could change.
Campaigners bid to change Labour's Brexit stance

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Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour support for such a move should be "on the table", while shadow chancellor John McDonnell has stated "we're not taking any options off the table".Supporters of a second referendum argue it is necessary because although the electorate in 2016 voted for a departure, they did not vote for the final destination - what Britain's relationship with Europe should be like outside the EU.Opponents say it would undermine the democratic process and accuse referendum backers of trying to re-run the 2016 vote because they do not like the outcome.The leaked memo says the cross-party group is not trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's leadership by seeking a change in position.
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It says: "Whatever views people have about the overall direction of the Labour Party, this campaign is not about Jeremy Corbyn and we must not - will not - use it to damage or undermine the party's leadership or attack them personally."
The draft contemporary resolution for Labour's conference says the party can give the public a "clear opportunity to participate in critical decisions".It notes: "Conference believes that if the government's proposed deal is unsatisfactory then the people should be allowed to express their view in a public vote on Brexit."The Labour movement can then unite behind Jeremy Corbyn's determination to fight the Tories on a hard Brexit."
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The memo has been written by Tom Baldwin, director of communications for People's Vote and a former adviser to Mr Corbyn's predecessor, Ed Miliband.It praises Labour's frontbench for showing "real signs of movement" on the issue, something which should be "supported and encouraged".Mr Baldwin said: "It's vital that people recognise that this is such a huge issue for our country, for the next generation, for our vital public services, for our jobs, that it's not something that should be used for any other objective.
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"Our movement, our campaign, contains people from Momentum and it contains people who've just resigned from Theresa May's cabinet - it's a broad, broad, broad campaign and people who use Brexit as a stick with which to beat Jeremy Corbyn are not serving our purposes."He said the memo and resolution were aimed at shifting Labour to a "sensible position which reflects the position of the vast majority of Labour Party members and the vast majority of Labour Party voters".
news.sky.com
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