JEREMY Corbyn has failed to rule out holding a second EU referendum if Labour gained power.

While the party leader said: “Our position is: we are not advocating a second referendum,” he conspicuously stopped short of ruling one out completely.

His position echoes that of the SNP leadership.

In the autumn, Nicola Sturgeon was asked about the prospect of a second vote on the UK’s membership of the EU and said that while it was “not the SNP’s policy,” the case for it “on the terms of the deal may actually become difficult to resist”.

Last week, her Nationalist colleague Ian Blackford, asked if the SNP leadership supported EUref2, admitted it was “not closing the door on this” but stressed how the current focus was on protecting the interests of Scotland by keeping the UK in the single market and customs union.

The party leader at Westminster, who has invited his opposition counterparts to a summit next month to co-ordinate the fight for a soft Brexit, added: “The FM has not ruled out that that may be an option at a certain point.”

In an interview with the i newspaper, Mr Corbyn acknowledged that his deputy, Tom Watson, had said holding another EU vote should not be ruled out.

The Labour leader in saying Labour was “not advocating” another vote adopted a similar phrase used by Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, when confronted on the subject earlier this month.

In November, the London MP raised eyebrows when it was revealed that she had told constituents: “I will argue for the right of the electorate to vote on any deal that is finally agreed.”

This was widely regarded as Ms Abbott supporting a second referendum vote on the final Brexit deal. Later, asked if her remarks were in line with official Labour policy, she said her comments had been “poorly worded”.

Nonetheless, they were seized on by Sir Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, who openly advocate having another vote on Britain’s relationship with the EU. He said: “It is really encouraging that such a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet should come out for the Liberal Democrat position of giving the public a vote on the final deal.”

But three weeks later when pressed on the issue, the Shadow Secretary of State said that when she had suggested the electorate should have a vote on the issue, she meant a parliamentary vote.

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: “The Labour Party does not support a second referendum and we’ve never supported it and we don’t support it now.”

Yet on the same day, Mr Watson, who also noted how Labour had not said it wanted another EU vote, then added: “When you’re in complex negotiations on behalf of the nation, you shouldn’t rule anything out.”

Earlier this month, Labour officially abstained on a Lib Dem amendment calling for a second EU referendum. Eleven MPs defied the leadership; nine backed the proposed change and two opposed it.

In October, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, hinted he might support another EU referendum while earlier this month some 70 Labour councillors in the UK capital wrote to Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, urging him to provide an opportunity for “people to change their mind” on the UK’s EU withdrawal.

In his interview, Mr Corbyn said Labour needed to accept the result of last year's vote and press for a Brexit deal which prioritised protecting jobs.

"We have had a referendum. The negotiations are ongoing and we've set out the kind of relationship we want to have with Europe in the future," he said.

Asked if the party leadership was conveying a deliberately ambiguous message on Europe, Mr Corbyn replied: "I don't think it's confusing. What we are saying is we are formally leaving the European Union of course; that is the position."

Earlier this week, a YouGov poll for the pro-EU Best for Britain group found many Labour voters have opposing perceptions about Labour’s stance on Brexit with 32 per cent of Labour-supporting Remain voters believing the party was “completely against Brexit” while 31 per cent of Labour-supporting Leave voters felt it was “completely in favour of Brexit”.