Mixed reaction as Portsmouth MP supports ‘all options’ Brexit vote

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan. Picture: Loughlan Campbell
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan. Picture: Loughlan Campbell
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PORTSMOUTH’S Labour MP has insisted ‘all options’ must remain open for a public vote on both the terms of any Brexit deal – and whether Britain leaves or remains in the European Union.

Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan said government needs to ‘think seriously’ about people having the final say on Brexit.

The news comes after shadow chancellor John McDonnell backed the idea of a general election for a people’s vote on Brexit negotiations.

This week anti-Brexit campaigners’ hopes that Labour would commit itself to a second referendum on EU withdrawal suffered a setback after party conference delegates were offered the opportunity only to keep the option of a so-called people’s vote ‘on the table’.

Mr Morgan said he supports shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer’s views that if there is to be no general election then a vote ‘must include the option to campaign for a public vote.’

In a statement Mr Morgan said: ‘Labour has never accepted this is a choice between Theresa May’s deal or no deal.

‘No government has the right to plunge the country into chaos as a result of their own failure. In the event of parliament rejecting the Prime Minister’s deal, all options must be on the table.’

He added: ‘Keir Starmer is exactly right that we should keep everything on the table when it comes to Brexit.

‘I hear every day from people and businesses in our city who are increasingly concerned about the impact of us crashing out of the EU.

‘The government just isn’t listening to them, nor assuring me, but its high time they did.’

The Portsmouth MP said that a no-deal outcome should not be considered as an option, believing it would have ‘catastrophic consequences’.

But his views have sparked a backlash online after The News reported on his comments yesterday.

Commenting on The News’ Facebook page, Tammy Butt said: ‘We voted to leave –  let’s listen to what people want, not what political parties say.’

On the idea of a final say, Barrie Pettitt commented: ‘Already done that, we voted to leave and that is what we are doing, deal or no deal.’

Lyle Plato added: ‘Didn’t people already have the final say? In a democratic vote?

‘We can’t keep having referendum after referendum just because one side doesn’t agree with the results.’

But Ryan Nolan said: ‘There was no mandate to leave the EU in such a damaging way as what seems to be coming.

‘There was a mandate to leave. Democracy allows us to change our minds! Why do you think we have a general election every five years?

‘It’s to ensure that the country still wants the current government or has changed their mind and want a different government.

‘There is nothing undemocratic about another vote!’

Labour is set to back a policy of keeping the option of a referendum on the table if there is not an early general election, but on Monday Mr McDonnell said any public vote would only be on the terms of a deal.