Labour will back moves to hold a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, Jeremy Corbyn has said.
The Labour leader announced the move saying the party would do everything to “prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country”.
It follows days of speculation that Labour might be moving towards backing a public vote.
Over the weekend, shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the party was “moving towards” supporting a public vote on Brexit and may back an amendment to that effect this week.
Then, in a speech to MPs on Monday evening, Mr Corbyn said the party would back an amendment to take no-deal off the table, put forward an amendment to keep the UK in a customs union with the EU and, significantly, the party would “put forward or support an amendment in favour of a public vote”.
He said: “The prime minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous no-deal.
“We cannot and will not accept.
“Last week, after our visit to talk to EU officials and leaders in Brussels and Madrid, no one can be in any doubt Labour’s alternative Brexit plan is serious and credible.
“We are convinced our alternative, which puts jobs and living standards first, could command support in the House of Commons, bring people who voted Leave and Remain together, and be negotiated with the EU.
“That’s why we will be putting down an amendment in parliament this week setting out Labour’s plan: for a comprehensive customs union with a UK say; close alignment with the single market; guarantees on rights and standards; protection for Britain’s role in EU agencies; and a security agreement which guarantees access to the European arrest warrant and vital shared databases.
“We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a no-deal outcome.
“One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent no-deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal.”
He added: “That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.”