Dublin Senator says UK must have second Brexit referendum

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A second referendum to allow British people have their say on any final Brexit deal, as advocated by the London Mayor, could prove crucial for Ireland, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Neale Richmond believes the call by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to allow British people deliberate and accept or reject any final deal negotiated between the European Union and the UK is the right way forward.

“The 2016 Brexit Referendum saw a choice between maintaining the status quo of the UK staying in the EU, as against a Utopian vision of the United Kingdom outside of the European Union with a range of possible scenarios depending on the viewpoints of the campaign.

“Nowhere in the campaign was a concrete, clear and realistic vision for a post Brexit situation laid out. The alternatives proposed were based on aspirations, perceptions and gross inaccuracies,” Senator Richmond said.

“When the Brexit negotiations finally conclude in March 2019, it is highly unlikely that the agreed deal will be exactly what all, if any, of the 52% who voted for Brexit thought it would be.

“It therefore makes eminent sense for the British people to vote in a straight forward Referendum on two concrete choices of the status quo versus a final deal.

“If the British people choose at that stage to vote to leave the European Union, then they will do so with a clear mind of what will occur. The suggestion by Sasdiq Khan that the Labour Party manifesto contain a commitment to vote on Brexit is a welcome one for the UK and for Ireland.

“For Ireland, Brexit is an absolute disaster and while we will continue to participate in the negotiating process, we should not stop repeating that we think Brexit is bad and that we do not want it to happen. A second referendum in the UK on Brexit could yet prove crucial to all Irish interests.”