Labour could let May’s Brexit deal pass in return for second referendum

Amendment proposed by backbenchers would see party abstain on PM’s deal as long as it is put to a public vote

Labour is moving towards a compromise plan that would allow Theresa May’s Brexit deal to pass but make clear that parliament “withholds support” until it has been put to a public vote, according to multiple party sources.

Those involved in talks said the Labour leadership was in favour of a redrafted amendment proposed by backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, which would see the party abstain on the Brexit deal if a second referendum were promised on those terms.

Kyle said he was now confident the Labour leadership would back his rewritten amendment, along with a number of Conservative MPs, meaning there was an increasing prospect it would succeed. “I have every reason to believe that this will get the necessary support when the time comes,” he said.

Senior Labour figures were unhappy that the original Kyle-Wilson amendment implied backing for May’s deal and a Tory Brexit. But Kyle said his amendment had now been recast in a way that commands the support of the Labour frontbench.

Under the new plan, the text of the amendment would make clear MPs were “withholding support” from the legislation until the people were given a decision in a second referendum. If it were to pass, Labour would then abstain on May’s deal.

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