Liberal Democrats launch fresh Commons push for second Brexit referendum

Posted On: 
16th October 2019

The Liberal Democrats have launched a fresh attempt to secure a second Brexit referendum on any deal that Boris Johnson strikes with the European Union.

Jo Swinson's party has already vowed to revoke Article 50 if it wins a majority at the next election.
Credit: 
PA

Jo Swinson's party has tabled an amendment to the Queen's Speech - which is currently being debated in Parliament - that would put any agreement the Prime Minister reaches with Brussels to a public vote.

The amendment instructs the Government "to prepare for a People’s Vote in which the public will have the choice between the latest Withdrawal Agreement and remaining in the European Union".

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If selected by Speaker John Bercow, it would be voted on early next week - but would need the support of Labour, SNP and some Conservative and independent MPs to pass.

Ms Swinson said: "The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and have been the leading voice in the People’s Vote campaign. 

"Boris Johnson is determined to have a general election, but the best way to resolve the Brexit chaos is to have a People’s Vote and give the British people the final say about their future.

"The best deal we have is as members of the European Union and we want to give the people the chance to choose to stop Brexit."

The move is the latest attempt by the Lib Dems to win support for a second referendum and comes after the party backed a policy of cancelling Brexit altogether if they win the next general election.

Conservative deputy chairman Paul Scully said: "Yesterday the Liberal Democrats wanted to ignore 17.4million voters by revoking Brexit, today they want to do it by holding a second referendum. 

"It’s clear that what you’ll get with them is more delay, gridlock and uncertainty."

The referendum bid also follows deep disagreement between the opposition parties over how to halt a no-deal Brexit, with a major row erupting over whether or not Jeremy Corbyn could serve as a short-lived caretaker Prime Minister if Mr Johnson's government falls.