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Boris Johnson believes that a second referendum would be undemocratic. But it’s the only way for us to come together as a nation and resolve the economic and political crisis which is gripping our country

Anna Soubry@Anna_Soubry
Friday 19 July 2019 10:44
'They're running around like idiots': EU leader's extraordinary denunciation of UK ministers' Brexit behaviour

Tonight I will be speaking at the latest People’s Vote rally in Derby.

I will be proud to do so and to add my voice to the millions of people who are increasingly worried about what Brexit is doing to our country, our economy and our politics.

Leave voters in Broxtowe did not vote for the kind of calamitous no-deal Brexit currently being contemplated by the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party. And that’s true of Leave voters throughout the East Midlands.

No one voted for key employers like our pharmaceutical businesses, Rolls Royce and Toyota to have to stockpile components and parts and issue warnings about what a no-deal would do to their manufacturing operations.

No one voted for insecurity, job losses and staff shortages in the NHS. And with the exception of 160,000 Conservative Party members, no one will have voted for the new prime minister who will be inflicting his no-deal Brexit on the nation.

The country is now facing the prospect of a new prime minister coming into office knowing full well that he cannot deliver the “clean break Brexit” that he has promised the hard-core of the Conservative Party.

In the last few days both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have started to show signs of realising that whichever way they turn they will be facing unrealistic and undeliverable options.

The latest wheeze which the man most likely to be our prime minister, Boris Johnson, refuses to rule out, is to send parliament away for two weeks to enable a no-deal Brexit to be railroaded through.

Boris Johnson believes it is perfectly fine to take this huge decision, based on a mandate provided by Conservative members alone, but that a second referendum would be undemocratic.

But it’s the only way for us to come together as a nation and resolve the democratic, economic and political crisis which is gripping our country – to have a People’s Vote.

The project proposed by the Leave campaign in 2016 has changed beyond all recognition. What was once argued in terms of leaving the institutions of the EU while enjoying the benefits of the single market and customs union has morphed into disastrous no-deal fantasy.

For that to be allowed to happen in our country, one of the greatest democracies in the world, is an outrage.

This Brexit crisis has now come down to a simple question about whether we live in a democracy. The answer will affect our jobs, our families and our country for generations to come.

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When we secure that democratic vote, the argument I and others will make with all the energy, skill and passion we can muster is that Britain is better off remaining within the EU.

Better able to trade, better to build businesses, better to travel, better to protect the environment and better to protect our families.

The only way to break the deadlock in parliament, legitimise the outcome and allow us all to talk about something else, is to give the people the final say.

Let us be heard.

Anna Soubry is the leader of the Independent Group for Change and the MP for Broxtowe

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