Labour MPs heap fresh pressure on Jeremy Corbyn over second Brexit referendum

Posted On: 
10th May 2018

Labour MPs from Brexit-supporting party heartlands have piled pressure on Jeremy Corbyn with a fresh demand for a second EU referendum.

Labour has insisted it would not hold a referendum on the final Brexit deal
Credit: 
PA Images

The five MPs from the Northeast argued the “destiny” of the UK “should lie with the British people” in light of claims the UK will take an economic hit after it leaves the bloc.

It is the latest Brexit blow to the Labour leader after peers staged a huge rebellion on Tuesday on an amendment calling for the UK to secure a Norway-style deal that would keep it in the single market.

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Labour has insisted the 2016 referendum result must be respected - but the MPs from areas that voted heavily to leave the EU called on Mr Corbyn to think again.

In a letter published in the Independent, Phil Wilson, Paul Williams, Bridget Phillipson, Anna Turley and Catherine McKinnell warned of an economic hit to their constituencies.

They wrote: “The outcome of the negotiations will affect the northeast of England and the United Kingdom for decades to come.

“Because this is so important, we believe the British people should have their say on the final Brexit deal.

“Just as the people had their say in the referendum in 2016, we believe the final decision on this country’s destiny should lie with the British people in a people’s vote.”

The MPs raised concerns about jobs at huge firms such as Nissan in Sunderland, Hitachi in County Durham and in the chemicals industry on Teesside.

And they added: “There is so much at stake here. Even the government’s own research says the northeast economy will lose growth once we leave the EU regardless of the deal.

“This will hit living standards of families throughout the region. A smaller economy will mean less money to invest in our hard pressed public services.

“Already the British economy has fallen from the top to the bottom of the European growth league.”

A Labour spokesman said: “Labour respects the result of the referendum and is working for a jobs first Brexit that protects jobs and living standards.”