ANY new Brexit referendum should not include the option of remaining in the European Union, John McDonnell has indicated as Labour braced itself for a "rumbustious" row on the issue.

Pro-EU activists' hopes of the party fully throwing its weight behind a People’s Vote suffered a major setback at Labour's conference in Liverpool.

More than 100 constituency parties submitted motions demanding a second referendum and thousands of people joined a march calling for a so-called People's Vote in order to put pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to change course.

But, as expected, after a marathon “compositing” session on Sunday night, the exact wording of the motion to be put to a vote at the party's conference tomorrow states only that "if we cannot get a general election, Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote".

This is effectively a restatement of the leadership’s position.

However, John McDonnell, a key ally of the party leader, went further this morning by making clear that if there were any second referendum, it should be on whether or not to accept a Brexit deal or conduct fresh negotiations with Brussels rather than seek to reverse the 2016 decision to leave the EU.

The Shadow Chancellor explained: "We argued for Remain in the past but we lost that vote so we have to respect that. All the polling that we have seen is that the country is still pretty split down the middle.

“My big worry is that if we go for a referendum which is seen as just a simple re-run we could divide the country again, we could get almost the same result or if it's slightly different that people demand another referendum."

He noted how the 2016 poll "opened up all sorts of xenophobic feelings and a rise of the Right" and stressed: "I don't want to revive Ukip in any way or even the far Right".

The precise wording of the referendum question would be a matter for Parliament, Mr McDonnell pointed out, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If we are going to respect the referendum, it[a People's Vote] will be about the deal."

On Good Morning Britain he suggested that a general election would be "the real People's Vote" because it would give the public the chance to change the team carrying out the negotiations, replacing Theresa May with a Labour government.

But he acknowledged the debate at the conference "may be rumbustious".

Labour MP David Lammy, a prominent campaigner for a second referendum, was not best pleased, saying it would be "farcical" to have a vote without the option of remaining in the EU.

"A People's Vote is the only realistic option to save this country from the car crash of Brexit,” declared the London MP.

"No Tory or DUP MP is likely to vote for a general election. Turkeys do not tend to vote for Christmas."

He added: "We've now got to turn up the noise until we secure a public vote which gives us the option to remain in the UK."

Mr Lammy received support from his Labour colleague and fellow Remainer Chuka Umunna, who called for an "unequivocal" commitment to a second referendum with remaining in the EU as an option.

Tom Brake for the Liberal Democrats said, by ruling out the option of Britain staying in the EU in a second referendum, the Labour leadership was aiding and abetting Theresa May on Brexit.

“They’ve spent two years backing the Tories’ catastrophic Brexit and are even now trying to ignore their own members who want a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU.

“It beggars belief that McDonnell and Co are spending so much time trying to trick and stitch up their own conference rather than campaigning for an exit from Brexit to protect jobs and services in the UK.”

He added: “The only choice a ‘deal or no deal’ vote gives people is which foot to point the gun at. Liberal Democrats demand better than Brexit and want to give the people the final say on any deal through a People's Vote where they will have the option to remain in the EU.”

Eloise Todd of pro-EU Best for Britain said it would be "unthinkable" for a second vote not to include the option of Britain staying in the EU and was "not what the 90 per cent of Labour members who back a public vote would expect".

She added: "Labour must listen to its members on this and the vast majority of its voters. It’s time for a final say with the option to stay."