Sadiq Khan: Labour could stop Brexit with second referendum
The Labour party could stop Brexit by pledging to hold a second EU referendum, London mayor Sadiq Khan has said.
Members of the shadow cabinet have repeatedly said the party should respect the result of the referendum, but Khan said he was an “optimist” about staying in the EU.
In order to “trump” the result of last year’s referendum, Labour would have to make a manifesto pledge that Britain would not leave the EU, or that a second referendum should be held.
A second vote could be held after the next general election, he suggested.
“For it to have credibility with the British public, there would have to be a Labour manifesto offer, because the public would say, not unreasonably, ‘Hold on a sec, we voted to leave and you’re now sticking two fingers up at us’,” he said.
“You’d have to spell out, in black and white, what we’d do if we won the general election. What could trump the referendum result is us having a manifesto offer saying, we would not leave the EU, or we would have a second referendum.”
His comments came as shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said there was “absolutely no way you can disrespect the way the people voted”.
However she also said there was the possibility of another vote if the public mood changed.
“If it was a popular thing on the streets of Britain, there could be another referendum, but until the general public has a change of heart, we’re going to exit Europe,” she said. “MPs haven’t changed their mind on Brexit. Most of them are weeping. They want to stay in Europe because they think this is going to be really damaging. If I got a feeling in my constituency that the public wanted to remain, I’d say: ‘Brake!’”