Brexit: EU-scepticism influences May; Ex MP calls for new vote

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Justine Greening, Conservative (MP) and former Secretary of State for Education, believes other senior Conservative MPs also support the idea of anew referendum on Brexit.

To end a likely parliamentary deadlock on Brexit after she became the most high-profile Tory to endorse such a move. The former education secretary and remain supporter said Theresa May’s Chequers plan “in practice suits no one” and would be rejected by both remainers and leavers. A new referendum would provide “a route forwards”, she said.

Former education secretary Justine Greening, who opposed Brexit, said May´s plan to follow European Union rules on trade in goods without being able to influence them was “the worst of both worlds”.


Writing in the Times, the MP for Putney said the “only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians” by letting voters choose from three options: May’s final deal, a no-deal Brexit or staying in the EU.

British PM Theresa May drew fire from all sides Monday over her Brexit strategy as a former minister described it as a ‘fudge’ and called for a second EU referendum, and eurosceptics readied a parliamentary challenge.

Noting the deep divisions in government and parliament on the way forward, Greening said the decision must be put to voters — becoming the most senior member of May´s Conservative party to back the idea.

“The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people,” she wrote.

May has repeatedly ruled out a second referendum after Britons voted by 52 percent for Brexit in 2016, but Greening´s support for a so-called People´s Vote will give the campaign a huge boost.

Her intervention is also another blow for May´s plan for close ties with the EU, which had already come under fire from Conservatives who want a clean break.

Two top ministers, Boris Johnson and David Davis, quit in protest last week followed by a string of junior walkouts, including another on Monday.

Eurosceptics will have a chance to show their strength in the House of Commons late Monday by voting on amendments to a bill setting up a new customs regime after Brexit, which would effectively wreck May´s plan.

They are not expected to pass, as the opposition Labour party will not support them, but will show how many MPs are prepared to publicly oppose the prime minister.

Meanwhile, May will also test her plan with the EU this week, with Brexit negotiations due to resume in Brussels on Monday and the other 27 leaders due to hold their first talks on the proposal on Friday.

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