Barry Gardiner STILL says second referendum 'undermines trust in democracy'

PUBLISHED: 08:38 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:48 01 March 2019

Barry Gardiner MP on Question Time. Photograph: BBC.

Barry Gardiner MP on Question Time. Photograph: BBC.

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Despite it now being policy for Labour to back a People's Vote, Barry Gardiner has still claimed it "undermines trust in democracy".

Gardiner was asked by BBC’s Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce about Labour’s stance.

She said: “Labour has now come round to the idea of a second referendum. But you said last year, a second referendum undermines the whole principle of democracy. It’s a bit embarrassing, isn’t it, given where you are now?”

Gardiner appeared to agree, telling the audience: “The straight answer is, yes, otherwise you wouldn’t have asked me this question.”

He continued: “I now believe we have to do this. If you look at our manifesto we initially said we would do everything we can to stop a no deal.

But then the shadow trade secretary appeared to undermine the party’s position by adding: “If we do end up with a second referendum, I still believe that that does undermine trust in democracy in this country.”

But he continued: “We’ve always said is that we will try anything we can. We’ve put forward our own suggestions, it’s always been the programme that we would judge her deal, whatever it was, when she brought it back. If we found that wanting, we would then put forward our own suggestion, if that didn’t get through we would call for a general election, if that didn’t get through then what we would do is we would do anything to stop a no deal, including a second referendum.

“I’ve always been clear that I think it is divisive, I think it does undermine trust, but I now believe it is the only way that we have to stop no deal.”

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Pressed further on a People’s Vote he said he would support Remain again if it was a choice between staying in the EU and Theresa May’s deal, but if Labour’s alternative was on the ballot paper he would campaign for that rather than staying in.

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