Justine Greening Breaks Ranks To Call For Second Referendum

Says new vote needed to break parliamentary stalemate

Putney MP, Justine Greening, has become the most senior member of the Conservative party to call for a second referendum.

The former education secretary had an article published in The Times in which she said that the proposals put forward by the Prime Minister were a fudge which offered the worst of both worlds which were never going to get the support of parliament.

Justine Greening

In her Times article, she said of the plans, "We'll be dragging Remain voters out of the EU for a deal that means still complying with many EU rules, but now with no say on shaping them.

"It's not what they want, and on top of that when they hear that Leave voters are unhappy, they ask, 'What's the point?'”

She said that due to the parliamentary stalemate a new vote had become necessary in which the electorate would be given three choices, remaining in the UK, a ‘clean break’ Brexit and a Brexit deal along the lines of that proposed by the Prime Minister. Her suggestion was that votes that would be transferable with second choice votes counting if no option gained 50% of first choice votes.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Greening said, "The reality is Parliament is now stalemated. Whatever the proposal on the table, there will be MPs who vote it down. But Britain needs to find a route forward."

She added, “I think in practice is suits no one, and whether you’re a remainer who looks at it and thinks, actually, we’re signing up to all the rules but now we won’t be around the table to influence them, or indeed you’re a leaver, who says this doesn’t give us the clean break we want, it doesn’t keep anyone happy.

“I think that millions of people who voted for leave will feel that this approach is not what they voted for in the referendum in 2016. The basic problem we’ve got is that Westminster works on party lines, but Brexit is above party politics, and so in a way it’s not set up to deal with this issue.”

The Putney constituency voted by a substantial margin to remain in the EU as did Ms Greening. She now claims that she has the support of other senior Conservatives for her proposals. She added that the current stalemate risks a no-confidence vote and increases the chances of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

July 16, 2018