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Overwhelming rejection of a second "in or out" referendum

Author: 
Editorial Staff

Parliament has recognised the will of the people and decided that, even if there is a referendum on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, such a referendum would not include a "Remain" option. It has also rejected the Prime Minister's motion to delay withdrawal.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, addressed the House on 13 May and said "The House voted to give the people of this country a choice as to whether we were to remain in the European Union or leave it, and 17.4 million people—a clear majority—voted to leave. That is a mandate that we must respect, and an instruction that we must deliver. It is also the case that at the last general election, both principal parties stood on manifestos that pledged them to deliver our departure from the European Union. It is vital that we honour that manifesto promise, those instructions, and our democracy. Those outside the House who sent us here to act on their will and deliver that mandate will take a very, very dim view of those who seek to frustrate, deny or dilute the mandate that we were given."

The following day, there was a vote to amend a motion. The amendment read that the House "instructs the Prime Minister to request an extension to the Article 50 period at the European Council in March 2019 sufficient for the purposes of legislating for and conducting a public vote in which the people of the United Kingdom may give their consent for either leaving the European Union on terms to be determined by Parliament or retaining the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.”.(our emphasis) (https://hansard.parliament.uk/... Columns 629-331

Translation: let the people decide whether to accept the terms - and to give the "leave" camp a do-over.

Even the deal votes had a less torrid time than that amendment which was rejected by 334 votes to 85.

An amendment that the House, put forward by the Leader of the Labour Party and Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, said "instructs the Prime Minister to seek an extension to Article 50 in order to avoid exiting the EU on 29 March without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship; and to provide parliamentary time for this House to find a majority for a different approach.”. That reached a much closer result being rejected by only 318 to 302.

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