Labour is considering waiting until after a general election to decide how to campaign on Brexit .
Jeremy Corbyn asked the party’s ruling NEC to back a statement which committed a Labour government to “get Brexit sorted one way or another within six months of coming to power.”
This would include thrashing out a new deal with the EU in three months and putting it back to the people in a referendum with an option to remain within six.
The party would then decide how to campaign in that referendum in a one-day special conference.
It says Labour will “deliver whichever decision is made by the people of Britain.”
Sources said the statement was put to a meeting of Labour’s ruling NEC but not yet agreed.
There was not time for a vote by the NEC today because there was too much disagreement, sources said.
Instead NEC members will now submit amendments to the statement for further consideration on Sunday or Monday.
Pro-EU factions will now attempt to push the leader into an explicit pro-Remain stance, rather than waiting until after an election.
“It’s not a done deal – it’s still being discussed,” a source said.
A source said the statement was submitted by Jeremy Corbyn himself.
“It’s Jeremy trying to develop a position that is essentially a Remain position and keeps Leave supporters and voters on board,” they said.
Labour MP Lloyd Russell Moyle who backs Jeremy Corbyn but opposes Brexit criticised the proposal.
He said on Twitter : “Why would the NEC call for a special conference on Brexit when we have the actual confence this week.
“We can not support kicking the can down the road longer, we are at the cliff edge.
“Party democracy must be respected and confence must get a vote on campaigning to remain.”
It is a separate process to the Brexit motion which will be debated by conference and ultimately become Labour policy.
Some 90 constituency Labour parties have submitted motions on Brexit – most of them backing Remain.
These will be whittled down to one or more motions in what’s called a compositing meeting.
These will then be voted on by conference delegates.