At least six Labour MPs have made clear they would break away from the main opposition party in the UK if Jeremy Corbyn refuses to back an amendment calling for a second Brexit referendum, while a smaller number have threatened to leave the Labour Party if it in any way obstructs the Brexit process.
The pro-Remain MPs include Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, and Chris Leslie, the Financial Times Report.
Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson are calling for an amendment on February 27 that will trade support for the Withdrawal Agreement with a call for a second referendum. If Corbyn does not support an amendment backing a second referendum, the supporters of the “People’s Vote” campaign say they will be leaving.
Labour’s party manifesto envisages a second referendum only if a call for a general election fails.
Beyond the question of the referendum, pro-Remain MPs have also been dismayed by the reluctance of Corbyn’s refusal to condemn the Marxist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and Moscow after the Kremlin attempted to assassinate former Russian spy Sergei Skripal a year ago.
The rebel MPs plan to leave immediately and trigger a byelection in their constituencies. Most come from strong Remain constituencies and expect to could win. They also expect pro-Remain Conservatives, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, to follow close behind in the polls.
In 2016, over 160 Labour MPs signed a letter calling on Corbyn to resign. In two successive leadership challenges, the firebrand leftist confirmed the confidence of his party members and went on to narrowly lose a general election in June 2017.