What is a people’s vote and who supports it?

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Campaigners opposed to Brexit and others against the Government’s favoured approach have called for a “people’s vote”.

– What is a people’s vote?

In essence, a second EU referendum. The campaign behind it wants the Government’s Brexit deal put before the country in a public vote.

– What would voters be asked to decide in such a vote?

This is not as clear and there could be many variations. If the Government secures a deal and this is approved by Parliament, then the vote could be on whether to approve the deal or choose no deal. If there is no Parliament-backed deal then the vote could be on whether to support no Brexit deal or stay in the EU.

But it might not be a ballot paper with two choices. Conservative former cabinet minister Justine Greening earlier this year suggested three options – the Chequers deal backed by the Prime Minister, staying in the EU, or a no-deal Brexit.

Another version could be to reject whatever the Government proposes and order ministers back to the negotiating table.

– Who is in favour of such a vote?

The Liberal Democrats back the referendum, viewing it as a chance to stop Brexit. MPs from Labour and the Conservatives are also among its supporters.

Labour does not have a policy in support of another EU referendum, although senior figures including John McDonnell have sought to keep the option on the table – with the shadow chancellor expressing a preference for a new general election.

Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out a second referendum and challenged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to do the same.

Jeremy Corbyn
There is no Labour policy in support of a people’s vote (Peter Byrne/PA)

This would depend on the form of the vote, but for many involved in the campaign this appears to be the objective.

– How would a second referendum be organised?

Legislation would need to be introduced and approved by Parliament to allow the vote to take place – a process followed for the 2016 EU referendum.

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