Greening tells MPs to get their heads out of the sand on Brexit

PUBLISHED: 14:21 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:44 03 December 2018

Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

MPs need to get their heads “out of the sand” and recognise Parliament will not support any Brexit option on the table, a Tory former minister has said.

Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

Justine Greening made the comments as she joined campaigners delivering a petition for another referendum to Downing Street.

She said she would vote against Theresa May’s deal in the Commons, and instead called for a People’s Vote on the final deal.

MORE: New poll finds majority support a People’s Vote

Greening joined dozens of campaigners and MPs from three other parties to deliver the petition - signed by more than a million people.

Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

She said: “I think that MPs need to take their heads out of the sand and recognise that Parliament isn’t going to vote for any of the options on the table but in that case we can’t just decide to disagree and go nowhere - we have a responsibility to find a route through for people in our country.”

Greening added: “In the end I expect MPs to get to that point when they do see gridlock and realise that actually we are going to have to go back to the people, and maybe that’s also for the best: asking people surely is a sensible thing to do in a democracy when it’s a question this big.”

MORE: Delia Smith: ‘Everything about Brexit screams wrong’

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said the “let’s just get on with it” attitude is a “fallacy”, because “even if we accept the government’s deal we’re not just getting on with it”.

Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.Caroline Lucas, Chuka Umunna and Justin Greening handing in a petition in support of a People's Vote. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

“We’ll be spending years in negotiation of what kind of arrangement we’d want with the European Union - the problem isn’t going to go away.”

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas predicted that there was a “70 or 80%” chance of a People’s Vote because “there’s no majority behind anything else in Parliament”.

MORE: Blair: Second referendum should only have two options

And she said: “This idea that the ‘will of the people’ is some kind of static thing that never changes is just wrong: the will of the people has changed, it can change and she needs to listen to that.”

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