Tory minister dumps second Brexit referendum survey after anger

Posted On: 
16th August 2018

A Conservative minister has removed a survey from his website asking constituents if they want a second Brexit referendum after outrage from colleagues.

Foreign Minister Alistair Burt
PA Images

Alistair Burt asked locals in North East Bedfordshire if they wanted a “further vote” on the issue and set out a range of options they could choose from - including a straight rerun or a vote on the final deal.

But the Foreign Office minister took the survey down yesterday and insisted it had “completed its task”, after he was accused by a fellow Tory MP of being an “arch-Europhile”.

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Theresa May has repeatedly insisted a second referendum of any kind is not Government policy and will not happen under her watch.

In a statement on his website, Mr Burt said he had “made it clear to constituents who have written to me that I do not favour a second referendum”.

He added: “However, my constituents are entitled to their opinions and I’m entitled to ask what they are, through a simple survey with a variety of options.

“That’s all I have sought to do, and the survey has been out for some time with no adverse comment.”

He went on: “However having been out for several weeks now, the survey has completed its task and been a useful source of information for me. It has now concluded.”

Pro-Brexit Tory MP Andrew Bridgen had said: "Alistair Burt is an arch-Europhile. I hope this is not an indication of the way Government policy is heading.”

Another senior Tory had told the Express: "This is a complete breach of government policy. Alistair Burt needs to be reminded of his responsibilities under the principle of government collective responsibility.

"If he wants to keep his job, he should remove this survey immediately."