News & Politics

British Prime Minister May: No Second Brexit Referendum

British Prime Minister Theresa May is urging MPs to back the Brexit deal she negotiated with the EU in a vote that she now says will definitely go forward in the next couple of weeks.

In a media blitz over the weekend, May firmly rejected calls for another referendum on leaving the EU, as the opposition Labor Party is pushing.


“Don’t let the search for the perfect Brexit be the enemy of the good,” May said, a reference to the criticisms of hardline Brexiteers and EU supporters such as former European Commissioner Peter Mandelson, who argue the deal undermines British sovereignty and should be rejected.

EU leaders have refused to alter the Brexit deal to help May, leaving her able to promise only a “greater role for Parliament as we take this negotiation further.”

May slammed MPs asking for a second referendum. “It would divide our country and we wouldn’t be able to organize a referendum before March 29,” she said, pointing out it would therefore require an extension of Article 50 (the treaty article allowing withdrawals from the EU).

Brexit will take effect March 29.

The prime minister also wrote in the Mail on Sunday that backing her Brexit deal is “a question of profound significance for our democracy and for our constituents.”

Meanwhile, chances of May getting any Labor votes for the deal don’t look good.

The U.K. Labour party may face an electoral wipeout if its members of Parliament back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, rather than a second referendum on EU membership. That’s according to a new YouGov opinion poll of 25,537 Britonscommissioned by the People’s Vote campaign, which supports continued EU membership for U.K.

The poll, conducted over the Christmas and New Year holiday break, rates Labour’s vote share at 34 percent, six points behind the Conservatives. That support could drop to 26 percent — lower than Labour has scored at any general election in the past century — if Labour MPs help Theresa May’s deal through Parliament.

Some kind of reckoning is coming for Great Britain and Theresa May. At this moment, she doesn’t have the votes in her own party to get the deal approved and would need a significant number of Labor votes to succeed. She may talk of holding vote after vote to pass her Brexit agreement, but the reality is that if she can’t alter the deal with EU leadership, Great Britain will pull out of the European Union on March 29 with no deal in place to soften the blow.

Chaos is expected if that happens. But May would be long gone before March if she fails to deliver on her promises.