Elmar Brok joins calls for second Brexit referendum
German MEP Elmar Brok has thrown his weight behind the growing campaign for a second Brexit referendum.
Elmar Brok | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
EPP group member Elmar Brok also said that the European Union should have campaigned for Remain in the June 2016 vote so it could have confronted “lies” spread by Brexiteers.
Brok is a former foreign affairs committee Chair and a member of Parliament’s Brexit steering group.
Brok, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told German newspaper FAZ that a second vote could avoid a chaotic Brexit.
“If there is no exit agreement by 29 March 2019, a hard Brexit will occur. A referendum in December or January could avert a hard Brexit,” said Brok, his group’s Brexit coordinator.
He added, in remarks likely to anger Brexiteers, that the EU should have been allowed to take part in the referendum campaign in the UK in 2016.
Elsewhere, veteran UK MP Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said there is now a “real possibility” that a vote on the final deal will happen.
He said, “Those of us who will be campaigning to stay in the EU, albeit an EU that is reformed and improved, will need to prepare. Victory is not a foregone conclusion. The proponents of leaving will seek to whip up British nationalism. Nor will they necessarily accept the result. But it is the best hope we now have.”
Cable added, “Big political ideas take time to germinate. The idea that the course of Brexit should now be decided by allowing the people to have the final say through a vote, with the option to remain in the EU, was, until very recently, regarded as improbable.”
Writing in a UK newspaper he added, “The leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties regarded it (and still do) as a serious heresy. Yet public opinion is inexorably moving in that direction.
His article appeared in the Independent newspaper which is running a campaign for a second referendum. So far, nearly 400,000 people have signed its online petition.
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