South Shields MP among Labour backbenchers urging Jeremy Corbyn not to push for second referendum

Emma Lewell-Buck
Emma Lewell-Buck

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck is among 25 Labour MPs who have written to Jeremy Corbyn warning against a second referendum.

The Labour leader is in talks with Prime Minister Theresa May this week to discuss a way forward for Brexit.

In the letter, MPs remind Mr Corbyn he told Mrs May he would support a "sensible deal" which included a "a customs union and no hard border in Ireland", protected jobs and workers, environmental and consumer standards.

Signatories say pursuing another referendum would “divide the country further” and destroy the trust of many of the party’s voters.

"We believe you are close to achieving that in the coming days," it reads.

"At the general election, we were clear about respecting the 2016 vote, and about securing those Labour goals.

"Therefore, we feel if compromise is necessary to achieve this deal and avoid fighting the European elections, we should go the extra step to secure this."

Mrs May and Mr Corbyn held their first round of talks on Wednesday, with both sides describing the meeting as "constructive".

Mrs Lewell-Buck tweeted a copy of the letter, stating: "25 MPs including me signed this letter to @jeremycorbyn I want us to honour the Ref outcome, I remain confident a consensus can be reached with JC & the PM. I don’t believe a 2nd Ref will be the panacea some of its supporters believe it to be. #Brexit"

Senior figures and officials from the Government and Labour were locked in second day of talks on Thursday in an attempt to reach a compromise Brexit position ahead of a crunch summit in Brussels on 10 April.

Mr Corbyn told reporters on Wednesday that he had brought up the idea of a possible public vote during the talks, in order to prevent a bad deal or no deal.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said a “confirmatory” referendum was among the ideas on the table for discussion with Mrs May’s team.

The signatories are:

:: Mike Amesbury;

:: Sir Kevin Barron;

:: Ronnie Campbell;

:: Sarah Champion;

:: Rosie Cooper;

:: John Cruddas;

:: Gloria De Piero;

:: Rt Hon Caroline Flint;

:: Yvonne Fovargue;

:: Mike Hill;

:: Mike Kane;

:: Emma Lewell-Buck;

:: Justin Madders;

:: Liz McInnes;

:: Jim McMahon;

:: Ian Mearns;

:: Grahame Morris;

:: Lisa Nandy;

:: Melanie Onn;

:: Stephanie Peacock;

:: Jo Platt;

:: Dennis Skinner;

:: Ruth Smeeth;

:: Laura Smith;

:: Gareth Snell.