Leslie: Labour’s failure to support a People's Vote amendment ensured the opportunity was missed

27 February 2019

Yesterday, The Independent Group MP Anna Soubry tabled an amendment for today's debate on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The amendment was supported and signed by all of the members of The Independent Group, as well as MPs from across the House.

However, in spite of the Labour leadership saying earlier on Tuesday that they would support a confirmatory referendum, they failed to support the amendment.

Commenting on the failure of the Labour leadership to sign today's amendment paving the way for a People's Vote, The Independent Group MP Chris Leslie said:

“Today yet another chance has been missed to secure a People’s Vote and break this Brexit impasse.

"Labour’s failure to support the cross-party amendment tabled by The Independent Group - that would have helped pave the way for a public vote - ensured the opportunity was missed. Instead the Labour leadership are stuck repeating their already-rejected approach, sending confused signals about what their Brexit policy actually is.

“The time for playing political games has run out. With Labour still adding caveats and hurdles - and the Tories sacking dissenting voices - it’s clear the established parties are focused on internal party politics ahead of the national interest.

“This is yet more evidence of our broken politics. We need to change it."


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Stuart Macnaughtan on 07930 164 897 or [email protected]
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Notes to editors:

  1. Chris Leslie is the Member of Parliament for Nottingham East. He has taken on parliamentary roles including Shadow Chancellor and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He is a member of the International Trade Select Committee.
  2. There are 30 calendar days, and 19 parliamentary sitting days, until the legislated day for Brexit on 29 March 2019.
  3. More information on The Independent Group is available at our website:
  4. You can follow The Independent Group on Twitter: @TheIndGroup
  5. The full text of the amendment and signatories:

Amendment (h)
Anna Soubry
Sir Vince Cable
Joanna Cherry
Liz Saville Roberts
Chuka Umunna
Jo Swinson

Mr Chris Leslie, Tom Brake, Luciana Berger, Heidi Allen, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Joan Ryan, Angela Smith, Mr Gavin Shuker, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Siobhain McDonagh, Mr Dominic Grieve, Dr Phillip Lee

At end, add
“; and instructs the Prime Minister to table a motion in the House of Commons for debate and decision before 8 March 2019 which sets out the steps necessary for preparing a public vote on whether to proceed with exiting the European Union on terms agreed by Parliament or to stay as a member of the European Union.”.