New Brexit referendum 'harms case against second independence vote'

18 December, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Prime Minister Theresa May

Unable to secure any concessions from the European Union at a summit, Ms May faced reports in the Sunday Times that said her de-facto deputy, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, held talks with Labour lawmakers aimed at holding another Brexit vote.

In her remarks to Parliament, May will echo concerns voiced by other critics of a second referendum, both on the left and right, that a new vote would not solve divisions.

Asked whether his party would campaign for Brexit under a Labour deal if there were to be another referendum on the issue, he said: "Let's wait and see".

Parliament was supposed to vote on the deal this week, but May postponed it after it became clear that lawmakers would decisively reject it. Anger at the postponement triggered a no-confidence vote in May's own Conservative Party.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's policy chief for communities and local government, said: "We will be using whatever mechanisms we have at our disposal next week to try and force the government to bring forward that deal for a vote before Christmas". In October, London and Brussels agreed on the text of an agreement defining the conditions for the UK's exit from the bloc.

Mrs May made it clear she would step down before the scheduled 2022 general election as she fought off a backbench bid to topple her last week.

"But we shouldn't pretend that there wouldn't be disruption, there wouldn't be risk, and there wouldn't be impact and that's why as a responsible government we have to make all the preparations necessary".

"What a striking confirmation of those criticisms it would be if our parliamentary elite said to the people of Britain: 'We don't think you understood what you were doing in 2016".

The leading Brexit supporter added that "if there is a referendum. people like me will immediately start asking that it's best of three".


Trump's enthusiasm for Brexit stands in marked contrast to the views of his predecessor Barack Obama, who had warned that Britain would be at the "back of the queue" for a United States trade deal if it left the European Union.

The idea, raised on the cabinet's conference call last Monday, was knocked back by the prime minister, who, I'm told, said it would lead to "game playing in parliament".

"Brexit is in danger of getting stuck - and that is something that should worry us all", pensions minister Amber Rudd wrote in Saturday's Daily Mail newspaper.

"That would be a very big negative for the deal", Trump said.

The conspiracy against May within the senior ranks of her own party comes after the prime minister attacked former Labour prime minister and fervid Europhile Tony Blair for meddling in Brexit after he told Sky News she should "switch course" and hold a second referendum.

Mrs May accused the former Labour prime minister of insulting the British people, and undermining Brexit negotiations, with calls for a new referendum.

She added: 'We can not, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision.

Mr Howard lashed out at the possibility of a People's Vote, declaring it would "discredit" democracy and "display contempt" to the British public who voted to leave the EU.

A source told the Times: 'The prime minister could tell voters she tried to honour the referendum result, but Parliament has spoken'.

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