SHADOW Scotland minister Paul Sweeney has called for a second referendum on Brexit, meaning a majority of Scottish Labour MPs now back some form of new vote.

The Glasgow North East MP said he wanted a “ratification referendum” to give voters a choice between Theresa May’s deal and staying in the EU.

The plan was floated last week by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson.

Mr Sweeney insisted he was not supporting the People’s Vote campaign, which he dismissed as a vague “neo-liberal, Blairite project”.


But his position nevertheless means four of the Scottish Labour's seven MPs now actively advocate another Brexit vote.

The others are East Lothian’s Martin Whitfield, Edinburgh South’s Ian Murray and Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Ged Killen.

The numbers put pressure on Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard to spell out his position.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour MP says his party's Brexit policy is 'ludicrous'

Mr Sweeney set out his case at an event called “Love Socialism, Hate Brexit” at Westminster on Thursday.

He later told the Herald: “If Theresa May is not willing to compromise on her deal, then if she’s that confident in it she should approach it the same way as the Good Friday Agreement, so there was a ratification. We give the people a final say.

“It’s not a People’s Vote. It’s not about overturning any view.

“It’s about saying, this is the deal that’s on offer, and if you don’t ratify that deal then the default is to remain as we are as a member state of the European Union.”

He added: “The problem with the People’s Vote campaign is that it’s been rather patronising. I think that’s put a lot of people off. It’s seen as a somewhat condescending narrative from the people who actually ran the Remain campaign in the first place.

“We’re saying what we want to present is a radical socialist argument for why we should be in the European Union reforming the institutions.”

READ MORE: Fall-off in Scottish Labour membership due to 'natural cycle' of politics, claims Sweeney

A Scottish Labour source said: “It’s fantastic that a majority of our MPs now back a final say.

“There are lot of different groups campaigning for a referendum, but there’s a growing consensus that the public should get a choice between Theresa May’s deal or remaining in the EU.

“The only stumbling block now is the Labour leadership north and south of the Border, and it’s time for them to start listening.”

Meanwhile, Mr Murray said on Friday that Labour MPs were being "pushed to the brink" by the party leadership’s refusal to throw its weight behind a second referendum.

Amid speculation some Labour MPs may quit over Jeremy Corbyn’s desire for a deal on Brexit, rather than opposing it and pushing for a second vote.

Mr Murray told BBC2’s Political Live the party had exhausted all the stages agreed by last year’s conference ahead of moving to second vote, and should back one formally now.

He said: “The leadership are doing everything they possibly can to stop that from happening. That's why people are increasingly fed up. It's not just Labour MPs who are being played for fools, it's the country and Labour Party members and supporters." 

He said Mr Corbyn and Mrs May were "pandering to the extreme wings of their own parties", warning: “If our leaders can't stand up for our national interest, then they can't have our support."

Asked if he could quit Labour, he said: "I've never considered that, but we are all being pushed to the brink with the issues around Brexit and the issues around anti-Semitism."

Denying he was disloyal, he added: "My loyalty is to my constituents and to the Labour Party, who want us to move to this position that they democratically agreed. I don't believe in blind loyalty."