Campaigners calling for a second referendum on Britain’s departure from the EU have set out six scenarios under which Parliament could legislate for it.
Pressure is growing for a ‘People’s Vote’ as the prospect of a hard Brexit grows after the EU27 rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘Chequers plan’ in Salzburg this week.
Mrs May has repeatedly ruled out holding a second referendum, saying it would not happen “under any circumstances.”
But the People’s Vote campaign group say voters should be given the chance to decide on leaving with or without a deal, or staying in the EU.
They say the circumstances in which Parliament could legislate for another vote are:
- If a Commons motion is passed when MPs come to vote on any Brexit deal;
- If no deal is agreed by January next year, or if MPs reject a deal;
- If MPs approve the deal but make it subject to final ratification in a referendum;
- If the Prime Minister does a U-turn and calls a referendum herself after MPs reject a deal;
- If she fails to secure a deal and puts it to a People’s Vote to obtain a mandate for hard Brexit;
- If Mrs May, or a successor, calls a snap General Election to test the mood of the country.
But Mrs May is adamant that her Chequers plan respects the result of the EU Referendum and that the country has already made its choice.
People’s Vote insist there are no legal obstacles to giving voters another say prior to the UK’s scheduled departure date of March 29 next year.
In the first referendum two years ago, 51.8 per cent voted to leave the EU and 48 per cent voted to remain.
Britain’s future relationship with the EU is still up in the air after Mrs May’s disastrous meeting with leaders in Austria.
It is likely that a special summit will be organised in November to try and reach a deal, with Parliament voting on it soon afterwards. That could be lead to a People’s Vote bring triggered.
People’s Vote campaigners said there could be three questions on the ballot paper n a new vote – on no deal, on a deal agreed between the EU and UK and on remaining on the current terms.
It is likely that this would be rejected by MPs, and that there would a straight choice to be made between ‘In’ and ‘Out.’
Support for a People’s Vote is growing across the political spectrum, with The Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and moderate Labour MPs behind the plan.
But it has low support among Tory MPs and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has not indicated if he backs it or not.