POLITICS
01/09/2018 20:21 BST

Momentum Will Take No Position On Brexit At Labour Conference Despite Increasing Pressure

The influential campaign group will launch a consultation of members later in the year.

Toby Melville / Reuters

Momentum has decided not to take a position on any Brexit motions – including calls for a second referendum – at Labour’s party conference. 

The pro-Corbyn grassroots campaign group is to launch a consultation of its members on Brexit later in the year.

A petition, signed by more than 4,000 members of Momentum, urging the organisation to canvas opinion in its ranks, has been calling for a conference vote on holding a referendum on the final Brexit deal.

Support for the idea has been growing among Labour members - and if the influential group choose to throw its weight behind it, it would increase pressure on the party leadership.

After the petition reached the 4,000 signatures needed to trigger a ballot of Momentum members, the pro-EU members of Momentum had been expecting a consultation to take place before conference.

The decision to delay the consultation has disappointed the campaigners behind the petition.

Alena Ivanova, the Momentum member who started it, told the Labour List: “This is not the outcome that we had hoped for but is nonetheless a step forward from the situation last year. It would be untenable for Momentum to take a position without consulting its members.

“This is also not the end of the campaign. We will continue to collect signatures, and we are hopeful that we will reach the threshold in time for Momentum to back a People’s Vote at conference.”

The consultation will be a broad questionnaire, and will not be a ballot solely on a vote on the final deal, Momentum said in a statement.

The content of the consultation is being finalised, but is likely to include questions on how members feel about the progress of the negotiations, the potential impact of Brexit and whether Labour should vote down a Tory Brexit deal if it doesn’t meet Labour’s six tests.

Laura Parker, Momentum’s national coordinator, said: “As the Tories continue to bungle Brexit and risk Britain crashing out with no deal, we will, like other organisations from the Labour movement, be asking our members what they think about the issue - and supporting the Labour leadership to defeat this disastrous Tory Brexit in Parliament if it fails Labour’s six tests.”