May to attack a People’s Vote in Parliament as case becomes ‘overwhelming’

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Theresa May is to head to the Commons to make a speech attacking a People’s Vote - despite reports her own team is trying to win cross-party support for a final say vote to break the impasse.

Theresa May will use an address in the House of Commons to say that another national poll on EU withdrawal will do “irreparable damage” to the integrity of British politics.

Critics, however, say that Theresa May’s speech will show that the case for a People’s Vote has become “overwhelming” and that she is in denial about Brexit.

May will say: “Let us not break faith with the British people by trying to stage another referendum.

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“Another vote which would do irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics, because it would say to millions who trusted in democracy, that our democracy does not deliver. Another vote which would likely leave us no further forward than the last.

“And another vote which would further divide our country at the very moment we should be working to unite it.”

The statement to Parliament will follow days of speculation
that some cabinet ministers and key aides to the PM are manoeuvring for a fresh Brexit poll.

Leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign Dame Margaret Beckett MP said Theresa May’s speech is “highly sigificant”.

She said: “Officials know the prospect of a People’s Vote is being discussed not just in Westminster but in the corridors of Whitehall too.

“The case for the public being given the final say is becoming so overwhelming that people from all parties and of none now recognise that this is the best way forward for our country.

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“A new public vote would be different from the referendum in 2016 because we now know more about what Brexit means. There is no deal that can meet all the promises made for it - or one that is as good as the deal we already have in the EU.

“Any effort to force Brexit over the line without checking that it has the continued consent of the British people will only reinforce divisions and make sure this controversy lumbers on for many years to come.

“It is vital that leaders who care about the national interest begin preparations for a People’s Vote that can sort out the Brexit mess, give our politics the clarity it needs to move forward and our country the opportunity to move on from the bitter divisions of the past three years.”

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