There’ll be no People’s Vote as Theresa May condemns call for second referendum

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There’ll be no People’s Vote as Theresa May condemns call for second referendum

Theresa May will condemn calls for a second Brexit referendum, as Cabinet tensions on EU withdrawal continue to break into the open.

The Prime Minister will use an address to the Commons on Monday to say a new national poll would do ‘irreparable damage’ to the integrity of British politics.

The move comes after close allies of Mrs May distanced themselves from reports that they were manoeuvring to bring about a fresh referendum.

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for a church service near her Maidenhead constituency. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 16, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Theresa May has condemned calls for a second vote saying it would do ‘irreparable damage’ to UK politics (Picture: PA)

And Solicitor General Robert Buckland became the latest senior Tory to float the idea of a free vote in the Commons on Brexit.

Mrs May will use a statement to Parliament following last week’s bruising EU summit to claim another referendum would further divide the UK.

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The PM will say: ‘Let us not break faith with the British people by trying to stage another referendum.

‘Another vote which would do irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics, because it would say to millions who trusted in democracy, that our democracy does not deliver.

‘Another vote which would likely leave us no further forward than the last. And another vote which would further divide our country at the very moment we should be working to unite it.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dinendra Haria/REX (9984987b) Pro-EU protesters from SODEM (Stand in Defiance European Movement) including a large dinosaur demonstrates with their placards and European Union flags outside the Palace of Westminster in central London ahead of the crucial week in Brexit negotiations as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to meet Chief negotiator Michel Barnier later this week to discuss the withdrawal deal. Anti Bexit protest, Palace of Westminster. London, UK - 19 Nov 2018

Mrs May will use a statement to Parliament following last week’s bruising EU summit to claim another referendum would further divide the UK (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Isaac/REX (9938833ba) Red smoke from a canister hangs in the air as around 100,000 demonstrators march through London during a People's Vote anti-brexit demonstration savings banners and placards Anti-Brexit People's Vote March for the Future in London, UK - 20 Oct 2018

There were reports over the weekend that ministers were preparing for a second referendum (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

The appearance follows Mrs May’s de facto deputy, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, and the PM’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, both dismissing reports they are planning for a new referendum.

And Mrs May faces a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday following a frantic few days when key ministers have jockeyed for attention and staked out strong Brexit positions.

File photo dated 30/09/16 of the Severn Bridge. Motorists can travel for free for the first time in 52 years on the two Severn bridges as the tolls are scrapped from Monday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday December 16, 2018. See PA story TRANSPORT Tolls. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA WireIt’s now free to go to Wales as Severn Bridge tolls are scrapped

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain would ‘prosper’ even if it quit the EU with no deal, while Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd argued firmly against leaving the bloc without an agreement.

And International Trade Secretary Liam Fox indicated he could support MPs being given a free vote on Brexit options.

Prominent Brexiteers like International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt also look set to make their views known.

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington during a visit to Core Systems in Belfast to speak with the Northern Ireland Federation of Small Businesses.PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 7, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Lidington. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

David Lidington dismissed reports that plans are being made for a new referendum (Picture: PA)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock (9978898f) Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Politicians Downing Street, London, UK-14 Nov 2018 On the day that Theresa May is trying to finalise a Brexit deal.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox indicated he could support MPs being given a free vote on Brexit options (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

Asked about the prospect of a free vote in the Commons on Brexit where MPs would not be whipped, the Solicitor General told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: ‘I think that’s certainly something that we need to look at very carefully.

‘If we are going to do it, I think everybody needs to do it – cross-party. I think if all the parties agreed to it then it is something that might well work.

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‘But, I think it would be imbalanced if one party did it and the other one did not.’

Prominent Brexiteer and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson railed against the idea of a second referendum.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: ‘A second referendum would provoke instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal.’

Mr Johnson said the idea that the Government would hold a fresh Brexit poll was ‘sickening’.

Labour is insisting that Mrs May puts her Brexit deal to a vote in the Commons before Parliament rises for Christmas on Thursday.

However, the party has made it clear it will not table a motion of no confidence in the Government until such a vote has been held.

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