Michael Gove compares EU citizens in a People’s Vote to extra rugby players on the team
- Credit: Archant
Michael Gove has compared giving EU citizens the right to vote in a second referendum to fielding extra rugby players in a match.
Gove, whose Vote Leave organisation was found to have broken electoral law during the 2016 referendum, said the move would go against a "principle of democratic fairness".
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "It is the case that EU nationals don't vote, have never voted, in general elections, and therefore don't vote, have never voted in referendums like the Brexit referendum - and, therefore, we just think it would be unfair.
"It's a bit like a rugby league final, 13 players on either side.
"If one team suddenly said we're going to play rugby union instead and bring two extra players onto the field, that simply wouldn't be fair."
You may also want to watch:
He added that he understands Labour's argument but that it is "fundamentally an assault on the basic democratic principle".
He said that "fair-minded" observers would object to Labour running the second referendum that way, which he said would favour the Remain side.
- 1 US election result could spark 'end of Brexit', claims peer
- 2 Brexiteer says EU 'spiteful' to end fast-track lanes for Brits after Brexit
- 4 Farage says he can dodge US travel ban because he's a 'journalist'
- 5 Poll puts Labour on highest level of support since 2014
- 6 Question Time: Tory minister told 'diverse' cabinet doesn't erase race issues in party
- 7 Former Labour MP tells Jeremy Corbyn to retire after being suspended from party
- 8 Poll: Most Britons think Labour was right to suspend Jeremy Corbyn
- 9 Poll finds Boris Johnson key factor for Scots backing independence
- 10 Nigel Farage places £10,000 bet on Donald Trump to win second White House term
Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey, also on the Today programme, defended the proposal.
"I think it's right," she said. "I think it's fair to ensure that those people have the opportunity to vote over their future, because essentially this isn't just about the future of people who were born here, it's about the future of people who contribute to our economy and have done for a very, very long time."