Theresa May's government continues to be divided over Brexit, with one conservative MP penning an opinion piece stating the country should return to the polls on the issue.

By Daniel Herborn


Posted on July 16, 2018

Writing in The Times, British MP Justine Greening has described the agreement struck at Chequers as “a fudge I can’t support” and “the worst of both worlds”.

“The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people,” the article says.

Greening goes on to say the current Brexit agreement would mean leaving the EU but still complying with many of its rules. In this scenario, the UK would have no input into many of the laws that it is governed by.

She argues that another referendum is necessary to deliver a clear mandate for one of these alternatives and says that the proposed vote should take into account both first and second place votes. Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have both previously ruled out a second referendum.

May still facing division over Brexit

With this article, Greening has become the first MP in May’s government to openly support a second referendum, though dissatisfaction with the agreement the Prime Minister reached at Chequers has been widespread and destabilising. May has already lost prominent government members David Davis and Boris Johnson over their dissatisfaction with a soft Brexit. Both favour a hard Brexit or a complete withdrawal from the EU.

Greening reportedly has the support of other Brexiteers in advocating for another referendum, with former Home Secretary Amber Rudd believed to be among those backing Greening.

The possibility of other hard Brexit advocates resigning their posts and or forcing a leadership contest remains open. MP Robert Courts recently announced he was stepping down over the Chequers plan. He became the eighth MP to resign over the issue.

US President Donald Trump added to the mounting pressure on May before his UK visit, telling The Sun May’s soft Brexit would likely “kill” any US-UK trade agreement and voicing his opinion that Boris Johnson would “make a great Prime Minister”.

Theresa May is scheduled to appear at the Farnborough Airshow on Monday 16 July local time and is expected to use the occasion to make announcements safeguarding the UK’s aviation industry under her model of Brexit. The domestic aviation sector supports around one million jobs in the UK and has an annual turnover of around US$80 billion.

Header image: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development.