Brexit minister says PM will have to consider second referendum in latest talks

PUBLISHED: 11:49 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 03 April 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons during a Brexit debate. Photograph: House of Commons/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons during a Brexit debate. Photograph: House of Commons/PA Wire.

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay has made the surprise suggestion that Theresa May may have to consider a second referendum as part of talks with Jeremy Corbyn.

Barclay said the prime minister “will need to look at” a People’s Vote as part of talks with the Labour leader in a move to unblock the “logjam” in parliament preventing MPs finding a resolution on Brexit.

The Brexit secretary’s suggestion appears to point to the possibility of a fresh referendum being one of the options facing both leaders in forthcoming talks.

In a meeting with the Brexit select committee Barclay was asked if he would oppose the deal if it was “combined” with the option of a confirmatory public vote.

He responded: “There are no preconditions to talks so that is our starting point.”

Barclay continued: “For me personally, I think the idea of a second referendum prolongs uncertainty and risks taking us back to the very starting point.

“If we then vote Remain we are back where we started.

“I have my personal view on that but it’s right that we have the discussions and we will see were they go.”

Pressed again on a People’s Vote, Barclay said: “I don’t think we should have a second referendum because it takes us back to square one, is my personal view.

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“But the prime minister will have the discussions and we will see where they lead.”

“But we will need to look at this in terms of the hierarchy of options.”

The prime minister along with a number of members of her cabinet had previously vehemently opposed a People’s Vote.

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