Senior Labour Officials Throw Support Behind 'Confirmatory' Brexit Referendum

© AFP 2022 / BEN STANSALLLeader of the British opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn (C), smiles as he poses with members of the shadow cabinet including Deputy leader Tom Watson (CL) and Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander (CR), Labour Party and TUC members during a photocall for the 'Labour In for Britain' campaign in London, on June 14, 2016 calling for a remain vote in the EU referendum
Leader of the British opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn (C), smiles as he poses with members of the shadow cabinet including Deputy leader Tom Watson (CL) and Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander (CR), Labour Party and TUC members during a photocall for the 'Labour In for Britain' campaign in London, on June 14, 2016 calling for a remain vote in the EU referendum - Sputnik International
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The resurgence of support within Labour for a referendum on the terms of the UK’s Brexit deal comes as polling data reports a significant lead for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the upcoming May 23 EU elections.

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing renewed pressure as two of his most senior cabinet ministers have called for a "confirmatory" referendum on the terms of the UK's departure from the EU.

On Monday, May 13, Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson declared that Labour is still a "remain and reform party" adding that it is very likely that a second referendum would be needed for the party's MPs to consider throwing their support behind any Brexit deal.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Mr Watson elaborated that, "I've wanted a [Brexit] deal. I reluctantly came to the view that there should be a confirmatory ballot, because I thought it was the only way we would break the [Brexit] impasse. If a deal could be found that inspires enough notes in Westminster, then fine. But it seemed to me that that's very difficult."

"My idea of a confirmatory ballot is not a religious point, or a point of ideology, it's just — how do you get an outcome, how do you sort this out," Mr Watson added.

Mr Watson's dramatic admission comes as Jeremy Corbyn has spent weeks bogged down in cross-party talks with Theresa May's Conservatives in an effort to forge a consensus on what a final Brexit agreement should look like.

READ MORE: Ex-UK PM Blair Believes No-Deal Brexit Can Spark 'Silent Revolution' in UK

It also comes hot on the heels of a similar pronouncement by Labour's Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, who told the Guardian this weekend that any cross-party Brexit deal that does not come pre-packaged with a "confirmatory referendum" is unlikely to pass parliament.

"A significant number of Labour MPs, probably 120 if not 150, would not back a deal if it hasn't got a confirmatory vote," Mr Starmer asserted.

"For many of my colleagues, they have made it clear that they will not vote for a deal without a confirmatory vote attached to it. So if you want that stable majority, that has to be taken into account. And without it, it is impossible to see how the numbers would stack up," he said, adding that, "I've made it clear that at this stage, at this 11th hour, any deal that comes through from this government ought to be subject to the lock of a confirmatory vote."

READ MORE: 'Cute, Loud & Conservative': HOT Tory Girl's Pro-Brexit Rant Wins Over Twitter

The developments bubble to the surface amid simmering anxieties within both major UK parties that they may haemorrhage voters in the upcoming EU parliamentary elections to emerging parties like Change UK, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and Independent candidate Tommy Robinson. 

"It's really important we make the case that this is not the country of Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson," Sir Starmer told the Guardian.

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