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John McDonnell has suggested remaining a member of the EU would not be an option in any second referendum.
The shadow chancellor’s intervention has already triggered an angry backlash from anti-Brexit Labour MPs.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme this morning, McDonnell said: “If we don’t get a general election, then yes, we will go for a People’s Vote.”
But he added: “If we are going to respect the referendum it will be about the deal.”
“Parliament will decide what will be on that ballot paper,” he said when pressed if EU membership should be included.
His comments suggest in any referendum voters would just be asked what sort of Brexit they wanted – deal or no deal.
Labour MP Chris Leslie said not including the option to stay in the EU would be “utterly ridiculous”.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said “millions” of people had campaiged for another vote.
“They did not do this to be offered a farcical referendum on No Deal or a Bad Deal. It absolutely must include the right to remain in the EU,” he said.
Len McCluskey, the general secretary of the Unite union, also yesterday said it would be “wrong” to allow any referendum to include the option abandoning Brexit entirely.
Labour’s deep splits over Brexit policy have been on display at its party conference in Liverpool which began on Sunday.
More than 100 constituency parties submitted motions demanding a second referendum and thousands of people joined a march calling for a so-called People’s Vote in order to put pressure on Jeremy Corbyn and the party to change course.
But others in the party warn appearing to oppose Brexit in the face of the 2016 referendum result would damage the party’s fortunes with the millions who voted to leave the EU.
Today party members will debate and vote on a motion agreed late last night that sought to reach a compromise between the two sides.
“If we cannot get a general election, Labour must support all…