politics

Justine Greening calls for second Brexit referendum


Justine GreeningImage copyright
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Ms Greening described the PM’s proposals as ‘the worst of both worlds’

Justine Greening has called for a second referendum, labelling the prime minister’s Brexit deal a “fudge”.

Writing in The Times, the former education secretary described Theresa May’s proposals as “the worst of both worlds”.

The final decision should be given back to the people and out of “deadlocked politicians” hands, Ms Greening said.

She states there are three options: the PM’s deal, staying in the EU or a clean break from Europe with no deal.

Ms Greening, who resigned after the cabinet reshuffle in January, said the referendum should offer a first and second preference vote so that a consensus can be reached.

Lambasting the PM’s Brexit blueprint, the MP for Putney writes: “We’ll be dragging Remain voters out of the EU for a deal that means still complying with many EU rules, but now with no say on shaping them.

“It’s not what they want, and on top of that when they hear that Leave voters are unhappy, they ask, ‘What’s the point?’

“For Leavers, this deal simply does not deliver the proper break from the European Union that they wanted.”

Ms Greening, who grew up in Rotherham, where 68% people voted to leave the EU, said the parliamentary stalemate “risks a no-confidence vote and, worse, a Corbyn government, which would be disastrous for the economy”.

Mrs May has ruled out a second vote, as has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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In June tens of thousands of protestors marched to demand a second vote on the second anniversary of the EU referendum

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed concern over leaving the EU if Parliament rejected a deal made by Mrs May’s government.

Speaking to Andrew Marr he said there would be two options, either a general election or “a referendum for people to have a say on what the government has done in relation to the European Union”.

Campaign group People’s Vote is demanding a final vote on any UK exit deal. Cross-party supporters of the campaign group include Conservative MP Anna Soubry, Labour’s Chuka Umunna, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Lib Dem MP Layla Moran.

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Media captionTheresa May reveals the advice President Trump gave her over Brexit

Ms Greening’s comments come as Mrs May prepares to officially open the Farnborough International Airshow later.

The prime minister is expected to say her controversial proposals will safeguard millions of jobs in the aerospace industry.

She will also announce £343m in additional research and development funding, including investment in new “cleaner and greener” electric aircraft technology.

“Today I want us to build on that, and ensure not only that we retain our prominence, but that in an increasingly competitive industry we make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead,” she will say.



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