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Fighting talk on UK's future

Campaigner Miller wants ‘People’s vote’ on Brexit

Gina Miller

Gina Miller: ‘the people started this and the people should end it’ (photo by Terry Murden)

Campaigner Gina Miller is calling for a ‘People’s vote’ on the Brexit deal to be held in the autumn.

Ms Miller, addressing a pensions conference in Edinburgh, said there was a growing belief that the public must have a final say on the process of Britain leaving the EU.

Responding to questions about a possible second referendum, she said: “There is more realisation that the will of the people started this and the will of the people should decide where it ends.

“I will be calling for a people’s vote in the autumn.”

She disputed claims that this was anti-democratic by defying the verdict of the 2016 referendum to leave the EU.

“I absolutely believe in democracy, but I do not think democracy means one day, one vote.”

Ms Miller, who fought a legal battle to recognise the supremacy of parliament in triggering Britain’s exit from the EU, recalled the abuse she received from fighting the case, which included death threats and racism.

On the wider issues facing industry, she said there was a laziness apparent among remainers about what will be the outcome of Brexit.

“I have no idea why the [financial services] industry has been so quiet on passporting,” she said.

Passporting allows companies in one country to serve clients across the EU without the need for licences in individual countries.

“We should have been explaining this from day one,” she said and included her audience in her remarks. “We may have left it too late.”

Ms Miller called on the financial services industry to do more to counter the legacy of repetitional damage across the sector that was prompted by the banking crash. 

“We have all been tarred by it,” she said, adding that the public had become unhappy with institutions which they no longer trusted. She called on the pensions industry to be more proactive, particularly among the young and specifically through the universities. 

“Parents do not want their children going into an industry which rips people off. We are not good at explaining what we do.” 

She said students should be instructed in the meaning of APR and mortgages and other financial terms. “These people are likely to be the employers of the future.”

In a week which focused on women’s rights, Ms Miller advised women “never to say sorry for where you are in life, do not sit at the back in a conference, but when successful do not be the queen bee. You need to be a mentor to other women”.

Ian Blackford

Ian Blackford: accused PM of ‘failure of leadership’ (photo by Terry Murden)

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, earlier accused the Prime Minister Theresa May of a”failure of leadership” because of the negative impact of Brexit on the economy.

He said the government’s own impact studies showed GDP reducing by up to 9% and he asked delegates to think what that would mean for their industry.

“I would simply say to the Prime Minister that it is a failure of leadership that we put ourselves on a path that means we will be poorer,” he said.

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