Trades unionists meeting in Manchester this week have backed a “people’s vote” on Brexit if the Government fails to negotiate a good deal.
Some trade union leaders oppose a second referendum on whether to leave the European Union.
But the TUC’s Europe spokesman, Steve Turner, called on delegates at the annual congress to “rise like lions” if the deal is bad for British workers.
He told the conference: “This is not a call for a second referendum, a place some outside our movement want to push, but a vote on the terms of our departure if parliament fails us.”
Mr Turner, Unite’s Assistant General Secretary described the attempts by the government to negotiate a Brexit deal as shambolic.
But he warned that the Labour and trade movement must work to heal divisions left by Brexit to avoid the rise of the far right in communities that feel abandoned by the political elite.
He said: “A betrayal of the Brexit vote without answers will only add to a crisis of belonging and identity that could find its way onto our streets with a rapid and dangerous rise of the far right.
“It demands we rise like lions to the challenges for our class, to the threat of a hard-right Tory attack on working people as well as the threats from bosses who think they can use Brexit to shed jobs, relocate and off-shore our work or put a match to hard won terms and conditions, rights and protections.
“It demands MPs reject a disastrous no deal and send a defeated, broken government back to the country in a general election. It demands we extend Article 50 to give an incoming Labour government time and opportunity to negotiate a deal for the many, not the few. And if the politicians can’t do that, then we demand we go back to the people so they can vote on the deal on offer.
“It’s our deal, our future, not theirs.
Congress we need a better, fairer Britain. We need to heal the wounds. Only our movement is capable of doing that.“
Read Steve Turner’s speech in full, here