Boris Rules out Second Referendum in Minority Govt as ‘Bad for Our Country’

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks in the House of Commons in London during the debate for the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, Tuesday Oct. 22, 2019. British lawmakers have rejected the government’s fast-track attempt to pass its Brexit bill within days, demanding more time to scrutinize the …
Jessica Taylor, UK Parliament via AP

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that if the Conservatives fail to gain a majority in the House of Commons in the December 12th election, he would not agree to a second referendum as a price for a coalition.

Mr Johnson made the pledge in response to a question on the possibility during the launch of his Scottish manifesto on Tuesday, saying in comments reported by PoliticsHome: “I don’t normally answer that kind of hypothetical question, but I think in that case… I’m going to make an exception.”

“I certainly can rule out any such referendum… I genuinely think they would be bad for our country.

“It’s not the way forward now. We need to honour democracy, we need to get the economy moving.”

The remarks came after senior Liberal Democrat Sir Ed Davey said last week on the BBC that in the event of a hung parliament, the party would consider a coalition with the Tories only if a second referendum on membership of the EU is on the table. That, in turn, contradicted the position of Liberal Democrat party leader Jo Swinson who said during an election debate that she absolutely would not support the Conservatives in coalition.

The anti-Brexit party has maintained that should it gain a majority in the House of Commons, it will cancel the 2016 vote to Leave altogether and keep the UK in the EU.

The last time the Conservatives were in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats was in the government formed in 2010 after the Labour Party had been in power for 13 years.

Mr Johnson’s party is currently in the lead in the polls, with a survey by YouGov published on Tuesday putting the Conservatives 11 points ahead of Labour at 43 per cent.

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