Fresh Labour Brexit splits as shadow ministerial aides back second EU referendum
Two shadow ministerial aides have broken ranks with the Labour leadership to support a second EU referendum.
Welsh MPs Anna McMorrin and Tonia Antoniazzi, who both serve as parliamentary private secretaries to Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, have backed a cross-party campaign for a ‘people’s vote’ on the final Brexit deal.
The push for another referendum is being spearheaded by pro-EU group Wales for Europe and has won the support of more than thirty cross-party representatives, including 12 Labour MPs, council leaders, Assembly Members and MEPs.
In a statement the group said: “We are coming together, on a cross-party basis, to speak out for the people of Wales and to demand, for them, and for everybody else in the UK, a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.
“The final Brexit deal will be the real deal and it will be too big to ignore. It will be too big, too, to be only left to MPs in Parliament. There must now be a People’s Vote.
“Time is short. We urge everyone in Wales of goodwill, from all parties and none, to stand with us in calling on our MPs to pledge their support for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”
But Ms McMorrin and Ms Antoniazzi’s endorsement of the stance put them at odds with Labour's official policy, which is not to support a fresh vote.
PoliticsHome understands that both MPs have since been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities.
It comes after Shadow International Development Minister Preet Gill was forced to delete a tweet last month saying “a people’s vote on the deal is an absolute must".
Labour has previously taken a tough line over the issue, with former shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith losing his Cabinet post over his support for a second referendum.
Writing in The Guardian, Mr Smith said Labour must offer another vote to “properly serve our democracy”.
He was subsequently sacked from the party's frontbench by Mr Corbyn and replaced by veteran MP Tony Lloyd.