Labour MEP Stihler ‘absolutely’ wants people’s vote on Brexit

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Labour MEP Catherine Stihler has become the latest Labour member to publicly call for a “people’s vote”.

While the Labour Party does not support holding a referendum on the terms of the UK’s final Brexit deal, Ms Stihler said she “absolutely, uneqivocally” supported such a ballot.

Labour politicians, including MPs Ian Murray, Chuka Umunna and Stella Creasy, have already declared their support for the campaign.

Ms Stihler said: “What could be more democratic than putting something as important as this to a vote.”

She made the call during a special debate at Holyrood, held in memory of former Labour MP and Edinburgh University politics professor John P Mackintosh.

The Scottish MEP said by quitting the European Union, the UK was “going to leave our most improtant trading partner, when so many people’s jobs rely on that trade”.

With Britain due to formally leave the EU at the end of March 2019, she said people “still don’t know what the Government wants”.

Ms Stihler continued: “I can’t believe we are in this situation, and I don’t believe many Leave voters also want to be in this situation, that’s why I really now advocate a people’s vote.

“I absolutely, unequivocally think we need to have a vote on what the deal is, absolutely.”

However, she made clear she did not support a second Scottish independence referendum, saying: “We’re not talking about apples and pears here, we’re talking about two different things.”

Ms Stihler continued: “We need to look at what is happening, our government is about to take us to a cliff edge, take us into a situation that is (in) nobody’s interest. The poorest people in this country are about to be the hardest hit by this decision, the well-off people in our country can walk away and not be touched by this or damaged by this.

“This is unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has already rejected calls for a vote on the terms of the final Brexit deal, arguing this would be “a gross betrayal of our democracy”.

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