MPs sign letter calling for vote with option to remain in the EU
PUBLISHED: 15:42 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:45 01 June 2018
A cross-party group of MPs have signed an open letter calling for a final vote on any Brexit deal with an option to remain in the EU.
The signatories include Labour MPs from all wings of the party, along with Liberal Democrats.
The letter has been coordinated by the anti-Brexit Best for Britain campaign group, which described it as a "turning point in the Brexit battle". It is the first formal call from a cross-party group of MPs for any final vote to include the option of staying in the EU.
The letter, signed by MPs including Labour's David Lammy and Tulip Siddiq and Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable and Tom Brake, says: "This is why I believe we must have a final say, a people's vote, on Theresa May's Brexit deal.
"That vote must be between taking the deal and exiting the European Union or keeping the deal we currently have."
The open letter comes after a YouGov poll in London's Evening Standard newspaper showed that 49% of Londoners want a new referendum on any deal struck by Mrs May before Britain leaves the EU, compared to just 33% opposed.
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Ms Siddiq said: "The people of this country, not the politicians, must decide whether or not the Brexit on offer is the right path.
"If we trusted the people at the start, we must trust the people at the finish line."
Best for Britain CEO Eloise Todd said: "For the first time MPs are now calling for an option to remain within the European Union. This is a turning point in the Brexit battle.
"MPs are signing this letter because their constituents are becoming more and more worried about the future. Brexit threatens to be the biggest act of economic self harm in history. "
MPs from across the country are now being invited to add their names to the letter.
The full text of the letter
We, the undersigned, believe that Brexit will hurt communities like the ones we represent. The government's mishandling of the Brexit negotiations has made that worse.
The government’s own analysis shows that our communities will be worse off due to Brexit under any kind of deal the government delivers, and it’s clear that the kind of Brexit deal described by the leave campaign will not be on the table.
The government is trying to create a deal almost identical to our current terms, but without control over the laws we would have to either abide by or would be seeking to keep closely aligned with. Brexit is taking longer than we thought, and costing more than we thought, and it's been changing our communities, our hospitals and our job prospects in ways that were not clearly set out during the 2016 vote.
But if we were to stay, change and lead in Europe, we would allow the government to focus on the NHS, schools, jobs and driving up living standards instead of the intractable negotiations. This is why I believe we must have a final say, a people's vote, on Theresa May's Brexit deal. That vote must be between taking the deal and exiting the European Union or keeping the deal we currently have. That is what is Best for Britain.
The people of this country, not the politicians, must decide whether or not the Brexit on offer is the right path.
If we trusted the people at the start, we must trust the people at the finish line.