London mayor calls for second referendum on Brexit

Sadiq Khan calls for second Brexit vote for chance to remain in EU | Daily Star

Sadiq Khan - who advocated against a second vote in the wake of the 2016 referendum - told Andrew Marr on Sunday that the British public must be allowed to have a say in the outcome of Theresa May's Brexit negotiations, "plus the option of staying in the EU".

"This means a public vote on any Brexit deal obtained by the government, or a vote on a "no-deal" Brexit if one is not secured, alongside the option of staying in the European Union", he said in his article.

Known as the "People's Vote", the second vote idea is gaining traction among some politicians, unions and business leaders who argue that the public should effectively get a say on the final negotiated deal.

Meanwhile, Khan also faced criticism from his own party, with shadow global trade secretary Barry Gardiner saying a second referendum would "throw this government a lifeline".

This is likely to put pressure on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to lend support to this demand for a second referendum on Brexit.

Khan said Britain was now facing either a bad deal or a no-deal Brexit, both of which were "incredibly risky".

He added said the threat to living standards, the economy and jobs was too great for voters not to have a say.

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Labour's worldwide trade spokesman Barry Gardiner said a second referendum would throw the Conservative government a lifeline.

"If this government can not do what it is supposed to do and govern, then we need actually to change the government", the Labour MP said.

May has repeatedly ruled out holding a second referendum following the vote two years ago to leave the EU.

Khan denied claims he had called for the vote in order to distract from his record as London mayor, saying a record number of homes had been started in the capital previous year.

Making reference to Boris Johnson's resignation as foreign secretary over the government's Brexit strategy - dubbed the Chequers plan - the London mayor said the debate had become more about Mr Johnson's aspirations to become prime minister "than what's good for the country".

With time running out for the British government to negotiate a final deal with the European Union before March 2019, Mr Khan said the United Kingdom was left with two "incredibly risky" possibilities.

Chancellor Philip Hammond told senior ministers last week that Brexit could have to be delayed beyond March 29 in order to pass new laws, The Sun newspaper said on Saturday.

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