Mixed reaction as Portsmouth MP supports '˜all options' Brexit vote

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.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 1:58 am
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan. Picture: Loughlan Campbell

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'.

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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.