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Tag: Referendum

Oct 20th 2018 Alamy-Live-Peoples-Vote-march-London-UK-PX94M3-0

‘A historic moment’: 670,000 march to demand Final Say on Brexit at second biggest demo in a century (The Independent)

‘We were the few, and now we are the many,’ activists told as huge crowds urge Theresa May to change course.

Lizzy Buchan, Political Correspondent

The crowds stretched so far back that plenty of people never even made it to the rally.

Masses overflowed through the streets of London for more than a mile, from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament Square, as an estimated 670,000 protesters took their demand for a fresh Brexit referendum right to Theresa May’s doorstep.

They came from every corner of the UK, in what is believed to be the largest demonstration since the Iraq War march in 2003, when more than a million people turned out in the capital to oppose the conflict.

Amid the swathes of EU flags and banners, there was also a growing sense that campaigners, MPs and activists were realising, perhaps for the first time, that this was a battle that could be won.

“We were the few, and now we are the many,” Tory MP Anna Soubry told the crowds crammed into Parliament Square.

“We are winning the argument and we are winning the argument most importantly against those who voted Leave.”

She said: “We will not walk away. We will take responsibility and sort out this mess with a people’s vote.”

Speaking to The Independent beforehand, she said many Tory MPs were privately supportive of a second referendum amid bitter divisions in the party.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said the sheer scale of the event showed that “confidence is growing” in the fight for a fresh vote.

To huge cheers, London mayor Sadiq Khan said the march marked a “historic moment in our democracy”.

He told protestors: “We’ve heard some complain that a public vote would be undemocratic and unpatriotic. But the opposite is true.

“There’s nothing more democratic – nothing more British – than trusting the people to have the final say on our future.”

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Theresa May Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Can Theresa May Be Forced to Hold a Second Brexit Referendum? (Bloomberg)

Theresa May Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

By Kitty Donaldson , Alex Morales , and Robert Hutton
October 18, 2018, 7:26 PM GMT+3

  • Conservative, Labour lawmakers discuss voting down Brexit deal
  • Defeat in Parliament is high-risk gamble to force another vote

There are those in the Conservative Party so against Brexit that they are willing to gang up with the opposition to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal in order to secure a second referendum.

How many are willing to see this scenario through is hard to quantify — there is yet no deal — but the fact that lawmakers are discussing it semi-openly is a sign of how worried the prime minister should be.

The Path to a Second Referendum

Lawmakers who want a second referendum on Brexit see three opportunities to make amendments allow a fresh public vote:

  1. Amend Theresa May’s motion seeking approval of whatever deal she secures — expected in December at the latest.
  2. If May is unable to strike a deal or if Parliament rejects the plan she’s brought back from Brussels, she must make a statement by Jan. 21 on how she plans to proceed. In theory, a motion on that statement will be “in neutral terms,’’ meaning it can’t be changed. In practice, backbenchers believe the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, will allow it to be amended.
  3. If May’s deal is approved, she must pass the Brexit “Implementation Bill.” Lawmakers could amend this too.

“The idea of making support for the prime minister’s deal dependent on a people’s vote is one of a number of ideas being discussed at the moment,’’ opposition Labour lawmaker Ben Bradshaw said in an interview. “Support for a people’s vote is rising particularly among undeclared Tories – even those with leave constituencies.’’

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EU Flag

A people’s vote is getting closer by the day (Matthew Parris, The Times)

With a second referendum likely to be needed to break the logjam, Remainers need to hammer out the details now.

In Arthur Cash’s biography of that audacious 18th-century agitator for constitutional reform John Wilkes, the author remarks that Wilkes’s lifetime spanned “the American Revolution, which he admired, the French Revolution, which he hated, and the Industrial Revolution, which he did not know was happening”.

Let’s not be caught out this time. Revolution is in the air.

Indulge me, then, in a little crystal-ball-gazing, because it’s time to talk about referendums, who organises them, and how. Those who want a new referendum on Europe must face questions about how, when and by whom this still-anomalous bolt-on to our constitution is to be organised. If we Remainers are scornful of the Brexiteers’ refusal to propose an alternative, we must not make the same mistake ourselves.

This discussion is becoming urgent: another vote on Europe is moving fast from the highly unlikely to the distinctly possible. Let me suggest why.

Only the broad outlines can be discerned of the proposed exit deal that Theresa May’s negotiators and the EU are working on; but these will be a development of the “soft” Brexit proposal agreed at Chequers earlier this year. Hardline Brexiteers hate it. There is little enthusiasm anywhere for the plan. There is, however, a growing suspicion that this may be the only available common ground with EU negotiators. That’s why I’ve been writing since the beginning of August that Theresa May stands a fair chance of getting her proposals through parliament’s “meaningful vote” near the end of this year and I still think that. Staring into the muzzle of what could blast to smithereens a Tory government and very possibly Britain’s March 2019 exit from the EU, it would take nerves of steel (or brains of straw) not to blink first. Many Brexiteers will blink first.

But not all. Steel nerves and straw brains can be found among MPs in the European Research Group. A dozen of these irreconcilables could sink May’s proposals.

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Picture of Emily Thornberry GARETH FULLER/PA

Labour won’t back Chequers Brexit, says Emily Thornberry (The Times)

Labour has been accused of putting “power over principle” after Emily Thornberry all but ruled out backing a Chequers-style Brexit deal.

The shadow foreign secretary savaged Theresa May’s attempts to find a compromise with the EU and said that a workable deal was “just not going to happen”.

She also indicated that Labour would press for a general election rather than a second referendum if parliament rejected a deal this autumn.

In an interview with the Financial Times she said that she “can’t see them coming back with a deal that is going to meet our six tests”. One of Labour’s conditions for a deal with the EU is that it delivers the same benefits to the UK as its present membership.

Joshua Hardie, deputy director of the CBI, urged the party not to put partisan advantage above national interest. “The risk is that Labour will vote against any May deal using ‘exact benefits’ test as excuse,” he tweeted. “Dangerously close to putting power above principle, wouldn’t automatically lead to general election but could lead to no deal.”

Ms Thornberry anticipated Mrs May’s attempts to present MPs with a choice only of backing a Chequers deal or crashing out without an agreement. “Even if they come back in October, November, and say, ‘This flimsy bit of paper is what you’re going to have to agree to, otherwise there’ll be no deal.’ We’re not going to agree to either of those.”

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Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Michael Heseltine (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Michael Heseltine backs new EU referendum as he casts doubt over PM securing backing for Brexit deal (The Independent)

The Conservative peer and former deputy PM throws his support behind The Independent’s campaign for a Final Say referendum on any Brexit deal.

Michael Heseltine has cast doubt over Theresa May securing a Brexit deal that can pass the Commons as he threw his support behind The Independent’s campaign for a new EU referendum.

Lord Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister in John Major’s administration, said in his view there has never been “such an unpredictable, calamitous set of events facing” the country.

The Tory peer also poured scorn on Boris Johnson’s niqab remarks, and said the former foreign secretary should apologise for his comments that could have a “ripple effect” and embolden the right wing.

His remarks came as The Independent’s campaign for a Final Say referendum on any Brexit deal reached by the prime minister in Brussels, gathered pace, with more than 700,000 people having signed the petition.

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