Gordon Brown says he believes there will be a second Brexit referendum, becoming the latest senior politician to suggest the final say on Britain’s EU exit should be returned to the people.
Speaking at the Institute for Government in central London, the former Labour prime minister said the long-term questions “are unresolved” when it comes to Brexit.
“I for one have always said that I think there will be a second referendum. I believe that, in the end, the situation will have been seen to have changed since 2016 and that the people should, in the end, have the final say,” he said.
His remarks follow the explosive resignation of a government minister on Friday, who also called for a fresh public vote on any deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels.
Jo Johnson – the rail minister and brother of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson – described the prime minister’s negotiations as a “failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis”.
Warning the UK “stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War”, Mr Johnson added: “The democratic thing to do is to give the public the final say.”
Mr Brown also used his intervention on Monday to call for a royal commission charged with “hearing the voices of the British people” and carrying out a nationwide consultation about the type of Brexit they want to see.
Referring to Ms May’s negotiations over Brexit, which remain deadlocked over the contentious issue of the Irish border, the former prime minister said it is simply a “short-term temporary fix in the absence of a long-term endpoint”.
He continued: “Normally in a negotiation you set your long-term objectives and work out how to achieve them. But whatever the deal is and with or without a deal, the long-term questions about Britain’s future will remain unanswered and unresolved. Read more
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