May slams Tony Blair’s new Brexit vote call

Cheryl Sanders
December 17, 2018

In a surprise swipe by a serving prime minister on a predecessor, Mrs May said that a second ballot over our ties with the European Union would amount to parliament "abdicating responsibility".

"It wasn't the government given an instruction in the referendum, it was Parliament, they gave us an instruction and its time Parliament carried it out", he told BBC TV. Any idea that having a second referendum now would break through an impasse is wrong.

Theresa May has launched a stinging attack on former prime minister Tony Blair for trying to "undermine" her attempts to secure a Brexit deal for Britain.

"If they can't reach agreement then the logical thing is to go back to the people".

Another proposal being put forward if May's deal does not pass parliament is for MPs to be asked to vote on different options to try and work out what steps to take next.

She will add that another vote would "likely leave us no further forward than the last" and "further divide our country at the very moment we should be working to unite it".

Lidington is part of a group of senior ministers - Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark - who believe a new referendum is the only way to break the parliamentary gridlock, the newspaper said.

She said: "There are too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests - rather than acting in the national interest".

"It will happen over Christmas, it's not going to happen this week, it's not going to be quick, it will happen some time in the New Year", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

But the former universities minister Sam Gyimah, who resigned from government earlier this month to oppose the Prime Minister's Brexit deal, said "there are conversations happening about a second referendum and a number of other options".

It follows denials from senior figures in government after reports that plans for a second referendum are already under way in preparation for parliament's rejection of the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

While May was in Brussels last week, Blair was pushing for a so-called people's vote.

With little time to resolve the impasse before Britain's departure from the European Union on March 29, fears are growing that Britain could leave the bloc with no deal at all - a situation with potentially devastating consequences for the United Kingdom economy.

This, as Labour activists called on Jeremy Corbyn to support a People's Vote - although he wasn't giving any ground on that idea, as our Scotland Correspondent Ciaran Jenkins has been finding out.

The Sunda Rimes reports come after May said Friday that she would continue negotiations with Brussels on the future Brexit agreement in order to obtain additional guarantees for the deal, which are necessary for approval in the UK Parliament.

However, he said none of the Brexit options - including a Norway-style deal or "no-deal" - have a majority.

Specifically, May asked for "legal assurances" to help change a perception that the United Kingdom would potentially be locked forever into a customs union with the EU via a "backstop" provision meant to prevent the recreation of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the absence of a broader deal on a future trading relationship.

However, the party has made it clear it will not table a motion of no confidence in the Government until such a vote has been held.

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