May 24, 2019
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European Union

European politicians call for second Brexit referendum in United Kingdom

Strasbourg, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- Two main political parties in the European Parliament have on Wednesday called for a second Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom.

They urged the UK Parliament to put the vote to the people after Prime Minister Theresa May’s second deal on leaving the European Union was emphatically rejected by lawmakers on Tuesday evening.

Udo Bullmann, of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), said: “In a situation where a parliament is blocked as the UK parliament is blocked you have to take back control with a people’s vote.”

Manfred Weber, European People's Party (EPP) leader, described the latest developments as a “disaster” and said having another Brexit referendum would be “logical”.

The German politician wrote on Twitter: “We need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. There is no reason to give a single day of extension if the UK cannot tell us what they want with Brexit. We cannot see any perspective for this clarity at the moment.”

Guy Verhofstad, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), also spoke out against an extension of Article 50.

“I hope a no deal is massively rejected today & the UK Parliament position on an extension is known tomorrow. I am against any extension of Article 50, even for just 24 hours, if it is not based on a clear majority from the House of Commons in favor of something,” he said.

The EU's chief negotiator with the UK on Brexit, Michel Barnier, said it was the UK’s responsibility “to tell us what it is they want for our future relations.”

He then asked: “Why would we extend these discussions?” before adding, "Because the discussion on Article 50 that is done and dusted, we have the withdrawal agreement, it is there.”

Barnier said the UK and EU were at a “critical point” and that the “risk of no deal has never been higher.”

He added: “That is the risk of an exit, even by accident, by the UK of the EU in a disorderly fashion. I urge you please to not underestimate that risk or its consequences.”

May's agreement with the EU on the terms of Brexit was rejected by Parliament on Tuesday for the second time in two months.

The House of Commons was set to vote Wednesday on exiting the EU on the legally mandated date of March 29 without an agreement.

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