- Ex-Labour MP for Tooting said public should have chance to change their minds
- Insisted Government left it too late to negotiate a deal in time for March 2019
- ‘Going ahead with Brexit threatens living standards, economy and jobs,’ he said
- Labour splits set to continue with 100 anti-Brexit motions at party conference
The London Mayor set up a sharp divide in his party just a week before the Labour conference as Jeremy Corbyn is still opposed to a new referendum.
And his intervention will enrage Brexiteers who insist the June 2016 vote must be honoured.
Mr Khan insisted today that the Leave campaign promises had proven to be ‘lies’ and said he wanted a ‘first ever’ referendum on reality of quitting the EU.
Brexit should be delayed from March 2019 to allow time for a new referendum on leaving the EU with the option of staying permanently, Sadiq Khan (pictured on the BBC today) said
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr his first preference was for an early general election and installing Mr Corbyn as Prime Minister.
But acknowledging the Tory refusal to do so, he said: ‘For the first time the British public should have a say on the outcome of the negotiation.
‘It is really important it is not a re-run of the first referendum.’
Mr Khan said contrary to Leave promises, voters were now being told they had to leave the EU single market while NHS wards go short staffed.
Fox insists there must be no Brexit delay
Liam Fox insisted today that there must be no delay to Brexit in March next year.
The International Trade Secretary hit out at claims Britain will not be ready by March 29, 2019.
It has emerged Chancellor Philip Hammond floated the prospect of a postponement at the no deal Cabinet on Thursday.
But asked if there was any reason for delay, Dr Fox told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: I’d say no.
‘As I’ve said before, extending Article 50 until we’ve got an agreement is effectively allowing the European Union to dictate when Britain will leave the European Union itself.
‘The public have given us an instruction in the referendum, there has to be a time set for our exit, that’s the 29th March next year and we should honour that.’
He insisted the Government could ‘easily’ ask Brussels to ‘suspend’ the current Brexit process to allow time for a new referendum once an exit deal was finalised.
And he told Marr: ‘I would like to see one of the options being the option to stay in the European Union.’
Brexiteer Tory Theresa Villiers reacted with fury to Mr Khan, insisting voters just wanted the Government to ‘get on with it’.
She told the BBC: ‘It is so undemocratic to ask people to vote again just because there is an elite establishment that does not like the answer they were given the first time.
‘We have to listen to the result of the referendum and implement it.’
Tory chairman Brandon Lewis said: ‘Labour need to rule out trying to delay Brexit. Across the country, Labour politicians are calling for a referendum rerun that would take us all back to square one. ‘
‘Today they have gone further and admitted that they want to keep the UK in the EU beyond March 2019 – almost 3 years after the country voted to leave.’
Mr Corbyn will come under acute pressure to bring Labour’s policy into line with a second referendum at next week’s conference where more than 100 anti-Brexit motions have been tabled for debate.
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said today current policy was right.
He told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: ‘We’ve said we haven’t ruled anything off the table… but actually to have a second referendum would be to throw this Government a lifeline.’
The TUC has now endorsed the idea of a second referendum and is expected to bring a motion to the conference floor in Liverpool. Other major unions, including the GMB have done the same.
Labour policy has so far been based on six tests for the Brext deal, one of which insists the party will only support an outcome with the ‘exact same benefits’ as current membership.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said on Friday that the state of the negotiations made it inconceivable Theresa May would secure a deal Labour could ever support.
He suggested if a so-called People’s Vote were to be held, an option to remain a member of the EU should be included on the ballot paper.
‘This means a public vote on any Brexit deal obtained by the government, or a vote on a ‘no-deal’ Brexit if one is not secured, alongside the option of staying in the EU,’ he wrote in the article.
‘People didn’t vote to leave the EU to make themselves poorer, to watch their businesses suffer, to have NHS wards understaffed, to see the police preparing for civil unrest or for our national security to be put at risk if our cooperation with the EU in the fight against terrorism is weakened.’
Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out holding a second referendum following the vote two years ago to leave the EU.
She says members of parliament will get to vote on whether to accept any final deal.