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Labour MEP floats idea voters might want second referendum on Brexit

A senior Labour MEP accused of plotting to water down Brexit has said Britain might want a second referendum on leaving the EU.

Richard Corbett, deputy Labour leader in the European Parliament, tabled a series of amendments in Brussels which downplayed the significance of the referendum.

One changed a line that said the European Parliament "stresses that this wish (to leave the EU) must be respected" to simply that the body "notes" the referendum.

The amendments were proposed in October but rejected by the Brussels Constitutional Affairs Committee.

Appearing on the BBC1 Daily Politics Show, Mr Corbett said that if leaving the EU turns out to be bad for the economy and costs jobs Britons might want to vote again on it.

He said: "Well there are many people, I get lots of letters from people who say, 'well hang on a minute, this was an advisory referendum won by a narrow majority on the basis of a pack of lies and a questionable mandate'.

"But if there is a mandate from this referendum it is surely to get a Brexit that works for Britain without sinking the economy.

"And if it transpires, as we move forward, that this is going to be a very costly exercise, then there will be people who voted leave who will say 'hang on a minute, this is not what we were told. We were told it would save money, we could put it in the NHS, but if it is going to cost us an arm and a leg then I would like the right to reconsider'."

He said if Brexit is going to be a "disaster" that's costs jobs then "it's something we might want to pause and rethink".

He distanced the Labour leadership from his decision to table the amendments, describing himself as a "humble lame duck MEP" who does not speak for the Labour Party.

He added: "All I'm doing is stating things that are commons sense - that if, as we move forward, this turns out to be a disaster then we need to look very carefully at where we're going."

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