JEREMY Corbyn has been accused by the Liberal Democrats of betraying millions of Labour supporters who voted for Britain to remain in the EU after the party leader ruled out backing a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

Alistair Carmichael, the former Scottish Secretary and the Lib Dems' Shadow First Secretary, said it was clear that Mr Corbyn was now “more than willing” to support Theresa May in her pursuit of a hard exit from the Brussels bloc.

Speculation that Labour’s high command was considering adopting the Lib Dem’s central policy came after John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said this week that the UK Government should "put the deal to Parliament and possibly to the country overall" and after Mr Corbyn appeared to dodge a question on the subject in his first keynote speech of the campaign.

Loading article content

It had been suggested the Labour leadership was considering calling for a second vote in a bid to win over Remain voters who might be tempted to switch to the Lib Dems.

After Mr Corbyn’s speech, his spokeswoman said Labour's position, backing a "meaningful vote" in Parliament, had not changed but did not explicitly rule out a second referendum.

Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory Party Chairman, seized on the comments, insisting Mr Corbyn was sowing "chaos," which would "disrupt our Brexit negotiations".

However later, a spokesman for the Labour leader stressed: "A second referendum is not our policy and it won't be in our manifesto".

Mr Carmichael, who represents Orkney and Shetland, said: “By denying the people a vote on the final Brexit deal, Jeremy Corbyn is turning his back on democracy and the 48 per cent of voters who wanted to remain but also people who voted leave but clearly want us to stay in the single market.

“This is a betrayal of the millions of former Labour voters who strongly reject Theresa May’s hard-right Brexit plan. They deserve a vote on the final deal that the Tories come back with, and the Lib Dems will fight to give it to them. The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to this Tory Brexit government,” Mr Carmichael added.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party co-leader, also said Mr Corbyn was letting down Britain by refusing to back a second EU poll.

"If they truly trusted the British people - and wanted to give them a real say over the future direction of this country - then they would have committed to a democratic vote on any final deal," declared the Brighton MP.

"It's a real shame that they've sided with the Tories on this and will plough ahead with Brexit without giving people the final say," she added.