There will be a debate today in parliament to discuss the possibility of a new referendum over the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The session today will make no difference to the result, but it will give MPs who have objected to the result a chance make their feelings felt. David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, has been particularly vocal in his calls for the decision to leave the EU to be ignored by Government.
The Leave vote showed the intention of the country to retreat from the European project, but it is not a legally binding vote, the decision still has to be passed through Parliament.
The SNP, Lib Dems and many Labour MPs have called for the UK’s eventual settlement for leaving the EU to be ratified by the British people in the form of a second referendum. So today’s sessions will allow Members of Parliament to make their case for another vote at some point in the future.
There was a public petition, originally set-up by a Leave voter, demanding a second referendum, which gathered over four million signatures, the largest number in five years. However, it was discovered that a proportion of the four million may not have been authentic.
Regardless there were easily enough real signatures to reach the 100,000 threshold, which means MPs are obliged to consider it.
The popular petition calls for the EU referendum to be re-run as neither side commanded over 60 per cent of the vote and the turnout was under 75 per cent. The Leave campaign won the referendum by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% while turnout was a higher than anticipated 72%.
Theresa May will not be in Parliament today, she is attending the G20 summit and has faced numerous calls for Britain’s plan for their economy outside of the EU. Japan, for example, published a document which outlines its many concerns about how the UK will operate outside of the common market.
David Davies has been tasked with outlining the strategy for the withdrawal form the European project and was given the Brexit Secretary role. His job appears to be a difficult one, and it is thought the UK does not have anywhere near enough trained trade negotiators to ensure the Britain gets the best deal possible from the EU.