Lib Dem’s Chuka Umunna warns People’s Vote may only be achieved with new government

MP Chuka Umunna on Sky's Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Picture: Sky News

MP Chuka Umunna on Sky's Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Picture: Sky News - Credit: Archant

MP Chuka Umunna has said a People's Vote is 'highly unlikely' under the current government.

The former Change UK MP told Sky News that the Lib Dems offered a general election because it looks "highly unlikely" that a second referendum can be secured under the current numbers.

"This 'do or die' pledge by the prime minister to leave by October 31 is dead," said Umunna.

"We've got to break the gridlock and the only way we can stop Brexit is by issuing a People's Vote.

"It's high unlikely with this government that we're going to achieve that."

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Speaking on Sky's Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Umunna explained that the second referendum was unlikely with 19 Labour MPs voting for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and "half" of the former Tories standing as Independents not wanting a second referendum.

"As a party, the Liberal Democrats have always been clear we want to stop Brexit," said the former Labour MP.

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"The only way we can stop Brexit in this parliament is through a People's Vote referring this back to the people."

He said the new bill "takes no deal off the table" and "legally fixes" the prime minister to a December 9 election date.

The time frame involved for a December 9 election would not allow Boris Johnson to "ram" through his Withdrawal Agreement Bill before polling day, he said.

He also looked to allay Tory fears and said adding new elements such as votes for 16-year-olds would be "outside the scope of the Bill".

When asked whether a general election will ultimately result in either Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson in No 10 Downing Street, Umunna said that leader of the Lib Dems, Jo Swinson would be a "breath of fresh air" and that people were tired of Corbyn and Johnson.

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