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GMB backs a second referendum on EU withdrawal

GMB called today for a second referendum on withdrawal from the EU, saying that it respected 2016’s vote to leave the bloc but that “how we leave is as important as the decision to leave in the first place.”

General secretary Tim Roache said a “Tory hard Brexit” would be a “disaster” for GMB members, and he was calling for the government to put any deal it strikes with Brussels to the electorate so people could decide “what sort of Brexit is the right Brexit.”

The general union is by far the largest trade union to back a second referendum on the terms of departure, as promoted by the People’s Vote campaign, so far.

A second vote is opposed by the Labour leadership, which says it is committed to the decision taken in 2016 to leave. Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner has warned that forcing voters to go to the polls again could lead to unrest and the growth of the far right.

The People’s Vote campaign hopes to force a change in Labour policy at the party’s annual conference later this month.

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