Watson: I will vote for your deal, Theresa – if you put it to the people

Tom Watson is set to announce that he will vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal as long as she agrees to hold another referendum.

In a keynote speech at the Put It To The People march on Saturday, the deputy Labour leader will say: “I have an explicit message for Theresa May: I will vote for your deal or a revised deal you can agree with my party.

“I will help you get it over the line to prevent a disastrous no deal exit. But I can only vote for your deal – or any deal – if you let the people have a vote on it too.”

The proposed solution to the Brexit crisis being endorsed by Watson tomorrow has been put forward by Labour backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson.

They will likely lay down an amendment to that effect at the next meaningful vote, though there is some confusion as to whether Labour MPs would – if Kyle/Wilson passed – then be whipped to vote for the amended motion or to abstain.

Allowing May’s deal to pass on the condition that it is put to a ‘confirmatory ballot’ is seen by many activists as the only surefire way to avoid ‘no deal’ while keeping open the possibility of not leaving the EU at all.

London mayor Sadiq Khan will also feature as one of the key speakers at the march from Park Lane to Parliament Square on Saturday afternoon.

Watson is expected to tell protestors: “Millions of people voted for Brexit and many more millions of people – their jobs, their livelihoods and their public services – are going to be directly affected by this crisis. I know lots of them because I represent them in parliament and I am determined to do the right thing by them now.

“Everyone in this country has been let down by this Brexit process; people who voted to leave, people who voted to stay, people who didn’t vote or were too young to vote.”

On how to break the Brexit deadlock, the MP for West Bromwich will say: “Now, at the 11th hour and the 59th minute, parliament has now got to get this right for everyone.

“First, we need to stop the PM forcing this deeply unpopular broken Brexit deal on us. After years of incompetence and broken promises, it’s plainly obvious that whatever she tries to foist on us will not meet the promises made for Brexit, will include costs we never knew about in 2016, and still won’t settle the issue for years to come.

“Brexit is currently stuck in the pipework of parliament, with MPs split, completely unable to agree or find a way forward. The current impasse is not working for people who voted to leave or people who voted to stay. I really don’t think parliament will be able to resolve this.

“That’s why I’ve come to the reluctant view that the only way to resolve this and have legitimacy in the eyes of the public is for the people themselves to sign it off. It can only bring closure if we’re all involved in making the decision. It can only begin to bring the country back together again if we all have a final say – and then live with the result.

“So, I have an explicit message for Theresa May: I will vote for your deal or a revised deal you can agree with my party. I will help you get it over the line to prevent a disastrous no deal exit. But I can only vote for your deal – or any deal – if you let the people have a vote on it too.

“That’s why I’m proud to be marching. I trust the people I represent. And only they can sort this mess out.”

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