The Labour Party has just announced that it will support a second referendum on Brexit, to prevent, as it says, a "damaging Tory Brexit forced on the country".

At a soon-to-be meeting of MPs, Jeremy Corbyn will tell the Labour congregation that the party will back or introduce an amendment in favour of the second public vote.

"The prime minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt  to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous  no-deal,"  he is said to be telling MPs.

Mr Corbyn will add: "One way or another, we will do everything in our  power to prevent no-deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on  Theresa May's overwhelmingly rejected deal.

"That's why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to  also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public  vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country."


The news comes after the admission by the Prime Minister that she will not be able to secure a new Brexit deal from the European leaders, in time for parliament to hold its "meaningful vote" on it, next week.

Her current deal is extremely unpopular in Parliament, and in fact of course was rejected by MPs in historic fashion, so leaving us racing towards a no-deal exit.

The revelation by the PM that she won't be able to get a new deal in time for the vote is totally unsurprising, as since Theresa May's current deal was agreed in November, the EU has been absolutely adamant that there will be no further revisions.

A promise that is symbolic of the entire Brexit fiasco - Europe holds all the cards. The EU has a much larger economy, key access to many trade deals beyond our reach, and overall much more global political influence - this of course has always been the case. Thus negotiating with the EU - trying to leverage gains from them as part of a deal - was always going to be a one-sided process in favour of them. They have the much stronger hand.

So, since Theresa May scored a deal in November that is basically a worse version of what we have now with Europe, with things that displeased both Brexiters and Remainers without providing any big wins for either team, it was trounced and roundly rejected by Parliament.

But the EU, again with all the leverage here, have told Theresa May there can be no going back on it. So, the Prime Minister and the Brexiteers are stuck in a no-man's land between the EU's refusing to budge, and March 29th (the scheduled exit date for us from the EU). They're running out of time to fix the situation, and stop us exiting with no deal.

Instead then of being provided with a new deal to vote on next week, Parliament will get the chance to vote on a range of amendments to the Brexit process. Those votes include an attempt to extend article 50 (the motion in the EU charter that allows a country to withdraw from the union), and ruling out a no deal scenario.

One of the amendments will be Labour's general alternative Brexit plan, and if it is rejected, the party will "deliver on the promise we made at our annual conference and support a public vote", says the Shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer.

So, the key take away is that if Labour's plan for an alternative to the current Tory Brexit gets voted down in Parliament next week, they will then - somehow in the time that's left - support and hopefully work hard to encourage a second national referendum.  

This move, and it's a very significant one, finally comes after significant pressure on Jeremy Corbyn from both the progressive base, like me and (hopefully) you, and the centrist section of Labour, and the country.

And it's certainly a move I hail. A properly enacted, constitutional decision by the people on Europe or other affairs should be respected. But the problem was the last vote met none of those categories.

Most countries have a much more rigorous process than a simple, single 50%+ referendum for (what amounts to) a constitutional change. America for example needs 2/3+ of their Congress or of the states to vote yes on a constitutional change, for one to go ahead.

Secondly, the Brexit campaign was chocked full of lies and misinformation. Some of the key figures behind the process should be in jail, let alone out leading the country and seeking power for themselves.

So, it's an absolute no-brainer that we need a second vote, that's properly run, and then respected.

Hopefully, this one will happen.

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