Nearly three out of four members of the British Labour Party want their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to back a second referendum on Brexit, a new survey has found.
The study, part of the Party Members Project led by Professor Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London, found that if a new referendum was held, 88% of members would back to remain in the EU. Only 18% opposed Labour pushing for a second referendum.
The survey conducted among the 1,034 members of the party showed that 72% would like a new referendum. This is in contrast with Corbyn’s recent statement that his government would move on to Brexit but with a better deal with Brussels than the one stroke by Prime Minister Theresa May.
The Guardian quoted Bale as saying that the findings “increase the pressure on Labour’s leader to get off the fence.”
“If Jeremy Corbyn genuinely believes, as he has repeatedly claimed, that the Labour party’s policy should reflect the wishes of its members rather than just its leaders, then he arguably has a funny way of showing it – at least when it comes to Brexit,” Bale said.
Following the publication of the party survey, Corbyn urged May to re-negotiate with Brussels.
“What we will do is vote against having no deal, we’ll vote against Theresa May’s deal; at that point, she should go back to Brussels and say this is not acceptable to Britain and renegotiate a customs union, form a customs union with the EU to secure trade,” Corbyn said.
The results of the poll also echo recent calls made by Udo Bullmann, the leader of the Social Democrats in the European Parliament, who said in late October 2018 that UK voters deserved a final say on Brexit deal.
In the meantime, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that May would ultimately find a way to pass her Brexit deal through the British parliament.
Regarding the prospect of a second referendum on the deal, Hunt said it would be damaging to democracy and the social consequences of not leaving EU would be “devastating”.