Second Brexit referendum ‘now an option’ as calls for a new vote get louder
Pro-Brexit groups argue that holding another referendum would be undemocratic, arguing that the government should work to deliver the result of the 2016 referendum instead.
The prime minister has also repeatedly refused to consider a second Brexit referendum. Labour too has sat on the fence when it comes to supporting another vote on the Brexit deal, or Withdrawal Agreement, that was reached by May’s government and the EU.
On Tuesday, May lost a crucial parliamentary vote when the Brexit deal was voted down by a majority of the U.K. Parliament (432 votes against it and only 202 for it). Following that historic defeat, Labour then called a no-confidence in the government which was also voted down, but only just.
May’s government survived by 325 votes to 306 as May was backed by members of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Brexiteer lawmakers who had just 24 hours earlier voted against her Brexit deal.
All the while the U.K.’s departure date from the EU, March 29, is fast approaching. The government has until Monday to come up with a “plan B” but it’s unlikely that the EU will make any amendments to the deal on offer to the U.K. As such, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, no Brexit at all, or a second referendum or an extension to the departure date, are all seen as possible options now.
A no-deal Brexit, in which the U.K. abruptly leaves the EU overnight on March 29 with neither a 21-month transitionary period nor trading relationship in place is seen as the most potentially damaging option for the U.K.