MPs throw weight behind fresh Brexit referendum as hundreds of thousands prepare for major demonstration in London

Parliamentary backing for Final Say vote grows ahead of People's Vote and The Independent's March for the Future

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 16 October 2018 09:38
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Debunking claims a final say isn't possible with Femi Oluwole

MPs from across the House of Commons have thrown their weight behind calls for a new Brexit referendum amid faltering talks with Brussels.

Almost 20 from the main parties spoke out on the need to give the British public the final say through a vote on the outcome of negotiations.

It comes as hundreds of thousands of people prepare to attend the People’s Vote and The Independent’s March for the Future this weekend to push for a new referendum.

Speakers announced for the march include London mayor Sadiq Khan, celebrity cook Delia Smith, businesswoman and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden and MPs from all the main political parties.

The march takes place amid growing parliamentary support for a Final Say referendum.

Speaking after Theresa May updated the House of Commons on the state of Brexit negotiations, Conservative MPs including Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen joined a raft of Labour backbenchers to call for a fresh public vote.

Mr Grieve said: “I wish [Ms May] every good thing in this negotiation, but I do point out to her that we are heading towards a conclusion where we are going to be in at least a two-year relationship with the EU, which is a condition of vassalage because we have absolutely no say in the rule-making that we are tied to.,

“And then, in fact, we are going to be tied to a common rule book after it, even if she is successful.

“And I have to say to her that, in those circumstances, I will not be able to support the government in this unless this matter is put to the British people again, because it’s entirely different from what was discussed and negotiated during the referendum in 2016.”

More than 860,000 people have now signed The Independent‘s petition in support of a Final Say vote.

It comes as campaigners gear up for the biggest anti-Brexit event yet, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to gather in London to demand a fresh referendum.

Speaking ahead of the march, Mr Khan said: “This Saturday, people from every corner of our country will travel to London to demand that the British people get the final say on Brexit.

“The government is taking us towards either a bad Brexit deal or – worse still – no deal at all. Both these scenarios are a million miles from what was promised.

“People didn’t vote to make themselves poorer, to damage our NHS or to put jobs at risk. As Mayor of London, I am proud to welcome everyone joining the March for the Future and to add my voice to the calls for a public vote.”

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Ms Smith, the owner of Norwich City, will miss her club’s game against Nottingham Forest in order to speak at the march.

She said: “You’ll never know how much of a sacrifice this is going to be. I never ever miss a Norwich City football match, but this Saturday I simply have to join the march and rally calling for a People’s Vote.

“I feel so deeply passionate about this, the most important issue in our lifetime. And this is not an opinion, I absolutely know that Brexit will be an unmitigated disaster, for the people of Britain.

“Apart from the ensuing chaos now clearly in view, generations that follow us, will have deal with all that threatens the future of our planet, and that will involve nations learning how to work together.”

She added: “Here we are, already in pole position, included in a group of countries at the leading edge of learning how to do just that. And all we are doing is planning some egotistical isolation which initially involves stockpiling drugs and building lorry parks.

“All because of a group of squabbling politicians who can’t see beyond the end of their noses. Please don’t leave it to them. Now we’ve glimpsed the madness of it we have to be the ones to decide with another now more informed vote. It would now be totally undemocratic not to do so.”

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