Norwich South MP Clive Lewis wants voters to have referendum on final Brexit deal
PUBLISHED: 08:28 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:45 01 May 2017
Archant Norfolk 2017
Norwich South MP Clive Lewis is calling on his party's leadership to promise voters a referendum on Britain's final Brexit deal.
Mr Lewis says the British people should have a chance to “seal the deal” with a vote on the final terms of Brexit negotiations in order to give people “the choice of which direction their country takes, once our alternatives can be clearly seen”.
In an article in The Guardian Mr Lewis, together with Labour’s York Central MP Rachael Maskell, wrote: “In our constituencies of Norwich South and York Central, thousands of jobs and livelihoods will be jeopardised by the course Theresa May and her crew seem to be setting. And after years of their own brutal cuts to the civil service, they now find themselves without the expertise needed to agree the right trade deals for Britain in the time they now have available and the new world that they face. Scientific research, finance and technology all face upheaval, instability and uncertainty outside the single market or an equivalent.
“So giving the British people a chance to “seal the deal” with a vote on the final terms of the Brexit negotiations is not asking the same question twice. How can it be? We stand on the precipice of a new and vastly changed political and economic reality. If they really believe their own rhetoric, even Tory Brexiteers should welcome a chance to put their Brexit before the people and get their support.”
The MPs state they believe their party “should be prepared to support giving the British people a chance to ratify or reject whatever deal the prime minister of the day comes back with”.
“Of course, we also believe a Labour deal with the EU would be very different from a Tory Brexit in terms of national security, jobs, workers’ rights, environmental protections and tariff-free trade at the very least. But we should not arrogantly assume the deal we secure is what the British people want – and the public may want the final say over a Labour Brexit too.
“So we believe that they should be given the choice of which direction their country takes, once our alternatives can be clearly seen. Anything less will see our country hopelessly divided long into the future – something that surely no government would want.”