This is why a former Havant MP is backing a second referendum

FORMER Havant MP David Willetts has said a second referendum would help to speed up the Brexit process.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 6:45 pm
Former Havant MP David Willetts. Picture: Steve Reid

Lord Willetts, who was the borough’s Conservative MP from 1992 until 2015, believes the only way to break the ongoing parliamentary deadlock over Brexit is to put the final decision back into the hands of the public.

It comes following the Benn Bill, given royal assent last month, which could lead to another extension to the UK’s departure from the European Union

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Lord Willetts stood down as Havant MP in 2015, before becoming a member of the House of Lords. Picture: Joanna Cross

Lord Willetts, who is now in the  House of Lords, said the public should be presented with two choices on a ballot paper – to vote for whatever deal is put forward by prime minister Boris Johnson, or remain in the EU.

He said: ‘The referendum in 2016 was about something completely unspecified.

‘The reason we are stuck in parliament is because everyone has their own idea of what Brexit should be.

‘We need to present the public with a real proposition, which could give parliament the endorsement it needs for Brexit to be delivered.’

Lord Willetts, who backed the remain campaign during the referendum, believes it would be wrong to put no-deal as an option on the ballot paper, saying that it would lead to ‘years of prolonged negotiations’.

Yesterday, he joined former Conservative MPs Alistair Burt, David Gauke and Dominic Grieve in a fringe event at Conservative Party Conference, praising the single market and calling it a ‘triumph’ of British diplomacy.

Talks have been taking place between Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay and EU representatives in Brussels.

‘If I were a Brexiteer, I would finally be getting an opportunity to get Brexit done,’ he said.

‘I think it would be hard to do something like this before October 31, but since it has proven impossible to get any proposal through parliament this would increase the chance of making some progress.’

The former Havant MP became a member of the House of Lords in October 2015, seven months after stepping down as an MP.