British Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected repeated calls for a second referendum on Britain’s relationship with the European Union, noting to do so would betray the trust of the millions of people who already voted on the matter in 2016.
The comments come in an article for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, where the Prime Minister also confirms she is dedicated to her Chequers plan for a compromising soft Brexit.
Writing in the paper recently used by former cabinet colleague and political rival Boris Johnson to articulate his frustrations with the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans, May said: “In the Summer of 2016, millions came out to have their say.
“In many cases for the first time in decades, they trusted that their vote would count; that after years of feeling ignored by politics, their voices would be heard. To ask the question all over again would be a gross betrayal of our democracy – and a betrayal of that trust.”
Farage Denounces Campaign for Second EU Referendum: ‘It’s Not the People’s Vote, It’s the George Soros Vote’ https://t.co/vtlhBKjGF8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 26, 2018
The rejection of Britain having a second referendum on its EU membership will likely further frustrate the campaigning of several high-profile political actors, including former prime minister Tony Blair.
The Iraq war architect has called for a second vote, and even failed to rule out a third if the British public voted against the EU again.
In July, Blair’s former ‘Prince of Darkness’ Peter Mandelson went so far to predict that Theresa May would be forced into a second referendum.
Left-leaning Conservative Members of Parliament such as Justine Greening — who also believes Britain should stay in the EU — have also called for a second vote.
Blair’s Spin-Doctor Mandelson: May Has ‘Crossed the Rubicon’, Will Offer Second Brexit Referendum https://t.co/MEdU1PeDlp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 30, 2018
In acknowledging the damage to the voting public’s faith in democracy that could be caused by ignoring the first referendum and calling a second, PM May is closer to ultra-europhile Tory MP Ken Clarke and Labour frontbencher Barry Gardiner.
Both parliamentarians — like May herself — campaigned for Britain to remain in the European Union, but after the Brexit referendum in 2016 conceded that the vote was legitimate.
Despite May’s objection to a second vote, it is less clear that the Brexit she is working for will deliver on the spirit of the original Brexit referendum voted on by the British people.
While the government-funded pro-Remain leaflet that was posted to every house in the United Kingdom before the vote made it clear that leaving the EU would also mean a much-reduced involvement in the Single Market and its Free Movement regime, May has fought to stop that in her compromise-heavy, Brexit-lite Chequers deal.
Remainer Tories Call For Second Referendum: May’s ‘Fudge’ Is ‘Worst of Both Worlds’ https://t.co/scha4bQzpr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 16, 2018
The so-called Chequers agreement has been routinely criticised by pro-Brexit politicians who have agitated for a departure from the bloc more obviously like the one the British people were routinely promised — or warned — they would be getting prior to the referendum.
One such figure has been Boris Johnson, who quit the Cabinet over May’s plan, and has called on the government to “chuck Chequers”.
Making clear she would stick to her plan that many, including Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage, have dismissed as a ‘Brexit in Name Only’, May wrote: “I will not be pushed into accepting compromises on the Chequers proposals that are not in our national interest.”