Theresa May rules out second EU referendum or vote on terms of Brexit

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said there was 'no need' for a referendum

Ashley Cowburn,Jon Stone
Tuesday 30 August 2016 22:17 BST
Theresa May
Theresa May (PA)

Theresa May has ruled out a second referendum or a general election on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

It comes after Owen Smith, the Labour MP competing against Jeremy Corbyn for leadership of the party, vowed under his leadership that the party will vote against invoking Article 50, until the Conservatives commit to asking the British public to approve any final Brexit deal.

But a spokesman for Ms May said: “The Prime Minister is very clear there will be no second referendum."

“There is no need for a general election either,” he added.

Ms May is expected to trigger Article 50, the untested protocol for a member state leaving the EU, in early 2017 after government lawyers ruled out invoking the formal procedure this year.

However, some reports have suggested the Prime Minister, who has repeatedly pledged to make a “success” of Brexit, could push back the timetable because her new Brexit and International Trade departments are not yet ready to enter the formal negotiation process.

Fear and Loathing in Great Britain

Welsh First Minister, Labour's Carwyn Jones, also said on Tuesday that Wales had to make the best of Brexit.

“We've got to sell Wales to the world like never before," Mr Jones told an audience at Cardiff's Cathays Park.

“We need to reassert our confidence and we need to do it now.”

The First Minister said he supported Britain remaining in the single market but suggested there could be changed to freedom of movement rules.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday the former Conservative leader William Hague said a second referendum would be a “bad and dangerous idea”.

"Seductive as it seems, such a referendum is a thoroughly bad and dangerous idea, and it needs to be dismissed by the Government from the outset,” Mr Hague said.

"It is bad in principle, because a defeat for the terms of exit, after lengthy negotiations, would presumably come after the time permitted for such negotiations by Treaty, and when the time to seek any other terms would have expired.

"It could leave the UK in a state of pure limbo, having decided to leave in principle but not in detail. And since the terms of exit might be settled long before the detail of any new trading arrangement with the EU, it could involve voting on half a deal without knowing the content of the other half."

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