Labour Members Approve Motion to Keep Open Option of Second Referendum

Labour Party annual conference 2018

Labour Party annual conference 2018

If she loses a vote, May has said Britain will leave the European Union without a deal.

The vote opens up a clear division between the UK's two main parties - with the Conservative minority government still committed to leaving.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has so far played a canny game by allowing the debate to tie the government in knots while remaining ambiguous, but the time is nearing to reveal his hand.

Shadow Brexit minister Keir Starmer contradicted him, saying the motion "clearly keeps remain on the table", while pro-EU MP Stephen Kinnock said he was "baffled" by the comments.

And MP Gareth Snell said Sir Keir's "unilateral declaration" about the possibility of a Remain option was "disappointing".

Delegates at the party conference in Liverpool, north-west England, voted overwhelmingly for a motion that calls for a second referendum in the event that parliament fails to approve an eventual deal.

"The passing of this motion has left the door open to Labour backing a people's vote on Brexit, reflecting what the vast majority of Labour members and voters want and a majority in the country want".

In a speech at Bloomberg in NY, the Prime Minister will outline a vision for a low tax Britain to attract businesses from around the world.

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May last week issued an angry edict to Brussels when a summit of European Union leaders which had been billed as a chance to generate momentum towards a deal in October or November ended in a blunt dismissal of British proposals.

May's plan seeks to keep the U.K.in the EU's vast single market for goods but not for services, in order to ensure free trade with the bloc and an open border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland. But EU officials say that amounts to unacceptable "cherry-picking" of elements of membership in the bloc without accepting all the costs and responsibilities.

A Canada-style deal would leave the United Kingdom free to strike its own trade deals with other countries, like the U.S., while handing back control of immigration.

For now, May is sticking by her plan.

At the weekend Downing Street dismissed a newspaper report of contingency planning for a general election, and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the idea was "for the birds".

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said there were "six to eight weeks of very hard work in front of us in which we must take the political decisions".

PM May's current stance also digs a line in the sand on any alternative proposal from hard-line Brexiteers within her own parliament, a move that is sure to draw further ire from Eurosceptics that populate her own ruling party.

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