Sources within the People’s Vote campaign say they are well short of the number of MPs they need to force a second Brexit referendum.
Their estimates suggest they have just 175 out of 650 MPs willing to back a second vote.
They are pinning their hopes on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to get behind another poll.
People’s Vote insiders say it is “game over” unless Corbyn shifts soon.
LONDON — Sources within the campaign for another Brexit referendum have told Business Insider that they must get Jeremy Corbyn on board within the next few weeks or it is “game over” for the prospect of forcing a second vote.
Sources within the People’s Vote campaign said they estimate there are currently just 175 out of the House of Commons’ 650 MPs who are willing to support another referendum.
This includes 116 Labour MPs, some of whom are shadow Cabinet ministers. But crucially, not the Labour leader.
“We need to move Jeremy Corbyn or it’s game over,” one of the People’s Vote leading figures told Business Insider.
Although the Labour Party is officially still committed to leaving open the prospect of a second referendum, so far Corbyn has been reluctant to actively support one.
The Labour leader travelled to Yorkshire on Thursday to set out Labour’s position on Brexit. However, despite the best hopes of pro-Europeans in his party, there was little sign of him shifting Labour’s position on the issue.
Instead Corbyn simply repeated the party’s policy of forcing a snap general election, winning it, and then going ahead with Brexit on terms negotiated by a newly-elected Labour government.
With polling suggesting the vast majority of Labour’s members are against Brexit and behind a new referendum, Corbyn’s reluctance is incredibly frustrating for Labour voices within the People’s Vote campaign.
Tom Baldwin, who previously worked for Ed Miliband and now heads up the People’s Vote communication operation, told a campaign rally in London on Friday that the party had received thousands of letters calling for Labour to commit to stopping Brexit.
The Brexit dividend has been for the Royal Mail with all the post going to Corbyn.
Baldwin claimed that Labour’s National Policy Forum has received over 13,000 emails and letters urging Corbyn to oppose Brexit. People’s Vote campaigners say this is more than the party ever received on the Iraq war.
A Labour source told BI that Baldwin’s claim was “spurious,” but the issue is undoubtedly sparking huge disagreements in the party. A Labour delegate involved in putting together the party’s conference motion on Brexit told the same rally: “The Brexit dividend has been for the Royal Mail with all the post going to Corbyn.”
However, despite growing pressure, Corbyn — guided by internal polling indicating little appetite for another referendum in its target constituencies — is showing no signs of declaring support for another public vote.
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Source:: Business Insider