Back second Brexit referendum to beat the Tories, Tom Watson tells Labour MPs
Tom Watson has urged his party to get behind a confirmatory Brexit referendum in order to beat the Conservatives.
The Labour party’s deputy leader also called on the opposition to embrace fresh European elections in May - and said he was "confident" Labour could outperform the Tories if it pledged a second Brexit vote.
The call comes after Theresa May’s deal was struck down for a third time in the Commons on Friday, and as MPs prepare to vote on a series of Brexit options, including a second referendum, on Monday.
Labour frontbencher Melanie Onn quit her job last week to join a major rebellion against the party's backing for a second EU referendum, while three Shadow Cabinet members abstained on the vote.
But, Writing in The Guardian, Mr Watson called on his colleagues to get behind the party's new push for a public vote.
"I respect the different judgments reached by some of our MPs - none of these decisions is easy - but more than 80% of Labour MPs backed Margaret Beckett’s motion saying that any deal to leave the EU should not be pushed through by parliament unless it has also been approved by the people," he said.