Theresa May rules out any new referendum on final Brexit deal

British PM Theresa May has ruled out a referendum on the final Brexit deal, saying MPs would deliver on the vote to leave the European Union.

The British Prime Minister also said comments made by her Environment Secretary Michael Gove - who claimed voters would be able to force changes to an EU withdrawal deal at the next election if they did not like it - had been misinterpreted.

Following a statement in the Commons from Mrs May on the Brexit negotiations, Labour’s Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) said: "For phase two of the discussions, the Brexit Secretary has set the benchmark as securing the exact same benefits as we currently enjoy through a free trade agreement.

"Does she agree with her own Environment Secretary and many others that if the public don’t like the terms of the final deal they’ve every right to change their minds?"

Mrs May replied: "I have to say that is a misinterpretation of what the Environment Secretary said at the weekend - I’ve been very clear that there will be no second referendum on this issue.

"This House, this Parliament, overwhelmingly voted to give the British people the decision on membership of the European Union.

"The British people voted and we will now deliver on their vote."

As Mrs May took questions on the progress of negotiations, MPs gathered in Westminster Hall to debate a number of petitions on whether there was a need for a second referendum.

Labour MP Geraint Davies (Swansea West) told colleagues that it was an "incitement of the whole parliamentary system" not to give people a second vote.

The longstanding Labour man termed Mrs May’s Brexit deal struck last week as the "bad Friday agreement" that would reduce Brits to "second class citizens" in their own country.

He said: "Now we have what’s been described up here as the bad Friday agreement in which our great Prime Minister is phoned at 5am, dragged out of bed, required to fly off for a meeting in Europe and told what she’ll receive for breakfast, for Brexit I meant.

"She will have to pay between 35 and 39 billion euros and no strings attached on trade, she will have to ensure that the single market custom union operates within Northern Ireland, which is a recipe for companies in Britain to move to Northern Ireland.

"She was told that three million EU citizens will basically still have all the rights and protections enjoyed from the European Court of Justice while British citizens won’t have those rights and protections. We will be second class citizens in our own country."

Mr Davies said that now people realised what was under the headline of "Brexit breakfast" they "should have the right to send it back, because it simply doesn’t represent what was offered".

He added: "To subcontract and say you make the decision on the basis of a pile of lies on a red bus was disgraceful.

"I think and believe and it’s also constitutionally true, that the vote was an advisory vote as confirmed by the Supreme Court which is why the Government forced to have the Article 50 vote.

"The situation is changing, in fact the awareness of the public has grown faster it seems than awareness in here because they suddenly want a vote and the people in here don’t want it."

Speaking earlier in the debate, Tory MP Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) said it would be a "breach of trust" to hold a second referendum.

He said: "The majority of people, what people actually voted for, they wanted independence.

"They wanted to use that hackneyed phrase "bring back control". People are very dissatisfied, we have never been anything other than a semi-detached member of the EU.

"It’s been a running sore through the body politic for the last 40 even 50-plus years, and whatever side of the argument you are on, this country needed a referendum to establish what the will of the British people is and that was clearly found in June last year.

"It would be a breach of trust with the British people if we were to hold a second referendum and go back to them, and what we would be saying is ’sorry, you got it wrong, we know better’."

- Press Association


KEYWORDS: Brexit, Theresa May

 

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