Sadiq Khan heaps pressure on Jeremy Corbyn as he backs second Brexit referendum

Posted On: 
16th September 2018

Sadiq Khan has thrown his weight behind a second vote on Britain's membership of the European Union.

The Mayor of London's move comes as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces calls to back a so-called 'People's Vote'

The London mayor - who on Friday was reselected as Labour's candidate for the next mayoral election - said a referendum on the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations would allow the public to "take back control" over a process "mired in confusion and deadlock".

The move will pile pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to shift Labour's stance on a second vote.

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Writing in the Observer, Mr Khan - who campaigned to remain in the EU in the 2016 vote - said he had sought to work with ministers "to push for the best possible deal".

"In good faith, I’ve given the Government every bit of advice and information available to City Hall and every opportunity to strike a deal that would minimise the impact on people’s livelihoods," he said.

"But I’ve become increasingly alarmed as the chaotic approach to the negotiations has become mired in confusion and deadlock, leading us down a path that could be hugely damaging – not only to London, but the whole country."

The London mayor said the UK was now "in real danger of crashing out of the EU with no deal," and called for a second vote to give people "a final say".

"This means a public vote on any deal or a vote on a no-deal, alongside the option of staying in the EU," he added.

"As mayor, I wouldn’t be doing my job standing up for Londoners if I didn’t say now that it’s time to think again about how we take this crucial decision."

The move comes just days before Labour's annual conference, at which the party leadership is expected to face fresh calls to back a second referendum.

Senior Labour figures have repeatedly stated that support for a new vote is not party policy, instead pushing for another general election.

However, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour will not take “any options off the table” as Theresa May tries to hammer out a deal with the EU.

Earlier this month the GMB union - Labour’s third largest affiliate - swung behind the so-called ‘People’s Vote’ campaign, with general secretary Tim Roache saying his members had “no faith” that the Government could come up with “a Brexit deal that works for working people”.