Wales politics

Labour EU election candidates call for Brexit poll pledge

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All four Welsh Labour candidates for the European elections are calling on the party to promise another Brexit referendum in its manifesto.

In a letter, they said the party risks "losing substantial support" if it does not back a second poll.

The letter has been sent to the first minister and Mick Antoniw who represents Welsh Labour on the UK party's ruling body.

It has also been signed by Labour MPs, AMs and council leaders.

Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet on Tuesday to decide the party's manifesto for the election campaign.

The first minister said on the BBC's Sunday Politics Wales programme that a confirmatory referendum should "remain part of a mix" in the manifesto.

Mark Drakeford told the assembly's Brexit committee on Monday that he was "relaxed" about the efforts of all four Labour candidates in Wales for May's European Parliament elections to push for a second referendum.

When Mr Drakeford was asked whether he had any advice for Mr Antoniw ahead of Tuesday's NEC meeting, he said he expected the Pontypridd AM to "exercise his judgment".

Thirty-eight Welsh Labour politicians, members and trade union officials signed the letter to Mr Drakeford and Mr Antoniw calling for them to unequivocally back a "manifesto that includes a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal agreed in this Parliament, with an option to Remain."

The letter reads: "Without this it is clear from our recent doorstep campaigning we risk losing substantial support to other parties - particularly Plaid Cymru which could have a substantial risk for our future assembly, council and Westminster campaigns - and in so doing also risk letting Nigel Farage win seats in Wales.

"UK Labour conference has already, rightly, backed a confirmatory public vote.

"The overwhelming majority of Welsh Labour members and voters support this, and it is the democratically established policy of the party.

"Our members and activists need to feel supported on doorsteps by a clear manifesto that marks us out as the only viable alternative to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party."

Labour agreed a policy at its conference in September that if Parliament voted down the government's deal or talks end in a no-deal Brexit, there should be a general election.

But if it cannot force one, it added, the party "must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote".

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