Brexit: EU Parliament socialist group leader welcomes Labour's backing for second referendum

Udo Bullmann says policy shift is 'the announcement we have been waiting for'

Jon Stone
Brussels
Tuesday 26 February 2019 12:32
Comments
Udo Bullmann, leader of the S&D group in the European Parliament
Udo Bullmann, leader of the S&D group in the European Parliament

The leader of the socialist group in the European Parliament has welcomed Labour’s backing for a second Brexit referendum – as the party shifts towards a more pro-EU stance.

Udo Bullmann, a German MEP who leads the centre-left group, said the policy move by the UK opposition party was “the announcement we were waiting for”.

Labour said on Monday night that it would support an amendment for a public vote if it could not get its preferred soft Brexit plan through – as seems likely. The party says it is making the move as part of a bid to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which Theresa May has failed to rule out. The referendum would have Remain as an option.

“That's the announcement we were waiting for: Jeremy Corbyn’s plan or second referendum. UK Labour on the offensive,” Mr Bullmann said.

Labour's MEPs sit in the socialist group, officially known as the Socialists & Democrats. It was once the biggest in the parliament but has since been eclipsed in size by the pro-European centre-right.

The MEP Mr Bullmann, a member of the German SPD at a national level, had previously called for a second referendum.

“We think the British people deserve, once they have seen the measures and the consequences of this divorce, once they have seen the lies of the Brexiteers, the British people deserve to have a Final Say on their future. This is my firm belief and this is my understanding of democracy,” he said during a debate in the European Parliament in October.

He made the call following a huge march in favour of a final say through central London, which was supported by The Independent.

Despite Labour’s backing, the mathematics in the House Commons means that without more Tory MPs rebelling to support a final say, it would likely be defeated.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in