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Labour 'undecided' on second Brexit referendum

By Harriet Line

Labour has not made a decision on whether there should be a second referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, the party's shadow international trade secretary said yesterday.

Barry Gardiner said it was not party policy to have a second vote, but did not rule out the possibility. He stressed that stating support for another referendum would "encourage" the EU to give Britain the "worst possible deal".

It comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party had not fixed its position on the issue while speaking in Lisbon on Saturday.

Appearing on the BBC's Sunday Politics, Mr Gardiner was asked whether it was Labour's policy that there might be another referendum.

He said: "No, it's not the Labour Party's policy that we might vote again on this... we haven't made a decision on it."

Mr Gardiner continued: "Let's be absolutely upfront about this - the idea that you would have a second referendum, and that you would say that you're going to have a second referendum like the Liberal Democrats have done, would be to encourage the EU to give you the worst possible deal that there was.

"So that when you then voted on the second referendum everybody would say: 'Well, we can't possibly go there'."

Mr Gardiner added: "When we go forward, if we were to have another referendum on the same lines as we've had, and it were to be 52/48 the other way, what would that achieve? Absolutely nothing - it would then be game on for a third referendum or a fourth.

"The only way in which, in my view, you could possibly contemplate a second referendum was if you had the threshold that I believe should have been there in the first place of a two-thirds majority, but that, I stress, is not Labour Party policy, it is not something that we've decided and Jeremy articulated the position quite properly yesterday."

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