View from the House: Resolve Brexit ‘crisis’ with People’s Vote


- Credit: Chris McAndrew/Creative Commons

This week, we expected solutions on Brexit. Instead we were treated to repetition and further delays by the government.

The Prime Minister said that she would give Parliament the opportunity to extend Article 50 if her deal fails at the next meaningful vote.

However, without providing a viable alternative, she has merely postponed the date of a chaotic exit.

Whether in March or June, a no deal would be a disaster for the UK. Last month, major businesses said a no deal could put thousands of jobs on the line, whilst supermarkets warned of a disruption to the UK’s food supply. No deal would also cause chaos for EU citizens, most of whom will have no way of proving their rights in the case of a no deal.

Parliament and the country are still deeply divided on Brexit.

The Prime Minister’s deal remains unpopular and is unlikely to succeed at the next meaningful vote in March. Given the terrible impact of no deal, and the unpopularity of the Prime Minister’s deal, it’s clear that we need to find another way forward.

I have long been a supporter of a “people’s vote”, and firmly believe that a second referendum provides the solution to this crisis. Research from Best for Britain suggests that 60 per cent of the British public now support a public vote on Brexit. It shows a majority for a “people’s vote” in all regions of Britain, including in strong leave-voting areas like the East Midlands.

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In the two years since the referendum, so much information has come to light and many opinions have changed. A YouGov poll this January showed that 56pc of the public would now vote for remain.

Nearly 80pc of my constituents voted to remain in the EU. I share these residents’ hopes that a second referendum would allow the debate to be conducted on more honest and informed basis.

I campaigned for remain in 2016, and have been unambiguous in my stance since.

In 2017, I resigned my front bench to vote against triggering Article 50. Since then, I have repeatedly stood against Brexit, and for the EU citizens who are being affected.

After two years, we have had enough of delay. It is high time that the question was returned to the public so that we can resolve the Brexit crisis for good.