March 17, 2019 / 2:53 PM / 3 days ago

Labour likely to back public vote on UK PM's deal, says Corbyn

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the media outside New Zealand House, following Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, in London, Britain March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn signalled on Sunday he would back a proposal by lawmakers to hold a public vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal if it was approved by parliament.

May is expected to stage another vote on her deal to leave the European Union this week, but two of her ministers indicated on Sunday the Conservative government would only do so if there was the support to get it approved.

Corbyn, who has been reluctant to stage a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, has long said he would act to stop what he calls a “botched” Conservative Brexit.

On Sunday, he said Labour would most probably back a proposal, or an amendment, drawn up by two Labour lawmakers, Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, which would seek a “confirmation ballot” if May’s deal is passed by parliament.

“Yes we will be supporting it but we’ve obviously got to see the wording of it,” he told Sky News, adding that Labour would not support May’s deal. “The priority is to make sure that we don’t crash out on the 29th of March.”

Corbyn has long been under pressure by members of his party to back a second referendum, or People’s Vote, on Britain’s membership of the EU but fears alienating those Labour voters who backed Brexit.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton; Editing by Toby Chopra

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