Brexit deal “won’t pass without referendum”

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has said any Brexit deal struck between the government and Labour will not make it through the House of Commons without the pledge of a “confirmatory” referendum.

Theresa May is set to continue talks with Labour today in a bid to end the political impasse surrounding Brexit. But given that no party has a majority in the Commons the deal could still get stuck unless a second referendum is put on the cards.

Speaking to The Guardian Starmer said that without a public vote around 150 Labour MPs would block the new agreement.

“If the point of the exercise is to get a sustainable majority, over several weeks or months of delivering on the implementation, you can’t leave a confirmatory vote out of the package”, he noted.

Deputy leader Tom Watson appeared to agree with Starmer’s sentiment in an interview with Radio 4 today.

He said that with so many of his fellow MPs wanting to give the public the final say, it would be very difficult to “enforce” any Brexit agreement without another vote.

“This will only work if two very strongly-held views are plugged together – Theresa May’s deal and a confirmatory ballot,” he told Radio 4’s Today. “That is the way out of this.”

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