The move is likely to be backed by most Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs as well as a number of former Tory rebels. Chances of a breakthrough deal between the Government and Brussels look less likely after the DUP rejected a key part of the plan.
Nigel Dodds, the unionist Northern Irish party’s leader in Westminster, said it would oppose any deal that places the province in a post-Brexit customs partnership with the EU.
If Boris Johnson does secure a deal MPs may attempt to amend it to prevent passage through Parliament without a confirmatory referendum, during which remaining in the EU would be one of the options.
Addressing a conference on Saturday Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said: “If Johnson does manage to negotiate a deal then we will insist that it is put back to the people in a confirmatory vote.
“If he can’t, or I should say won’t, get a deal we will take whatever steps are necessary to prevent our country crashing out of the EU without a deal.”
Parliament could vote to hold another Brexit referendum
Labour could whip its MPs to vote for a second referendum
Speaking to The Observer a Labour source said “we believe we are getting closer to the majority it needs” to force a referendum.
They claimed Labour would whip in favour of a second public vote, which could create problems for those of its MPs who represent ‘Leave’ backing seats.
This view was backed by Scottish Tory MP Paul Masterton who commented: “My instinct on this is the numbers are there for a second referendum if Johnson doesn’t bring back a deal, but they aren’t if he does.”
Proceedings are likely to come to a head during the first Parliamentary meeting since the Falklands War on a Saturday next week.
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This will follow a European leaders summit, which will be Mr Johnson’s last chance to secure a deal with EU leaders.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly vowed to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 with or without a formal exit deal.
However, last month Parliament passed a law forcing the Government to apply for a Brexit extension unless Parliament explicitly approves either a deal or no deal exit, which it has already rejected.
Chances of a Brexit deal slumped on Saturday after DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said his party would oppose any agreement that keeps Northern Ireland attacked to the EU customs union.
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Addressing The Observer he said: “Northern Ireland must stay in a full UK customs union, full stop.”
Asked whether he would back an agreement that links Northern Ireland to an EU customs union, as the Government is reportedly considering, he replied: “No it cannot work because Northern Ireland has to remain fully part of the UK customs union.”
The DUP used to provide the Government’s House of Commons majority, but this was lost when a number of Tory MPs quit or were expelled over Brexit.
Next Saturday will also see a massive anti-Brexit protest through London, with organisers claiming up to a million people could attend.
Next week in Parliament will be crucial for the Brexit process
Former Tory MP Nick Boles, who left the party over Brexit, has suggested he could be one of the MPs backing a second referendum.
During an interview with The Observer he commented: “I have been very reluctant to accept that a referendum might be necessary to break the logjam.
“But if Johnson is unable or unwilling to agree a deal with the EU next week, we will be left with no alternative.
“A snap election will resolve nothing and could prolong the agony.
Jeremy Corbyn has backed calls for a second referendum
“Instead we should hold a referendum which offers people the choice between a soft Brexit deal and remaining in the EU.”
Britain voted to leave the EU by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent in June 2016.
However, the anti-Brexit ‘People’s Vote’ campaign is demanding another referendum that could overturn this result.