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Tory MPs backed another poll

Leading Brexiteers accused of hypocrisy over second vote

David Davis at Brexit committee

David Davis: said in 2012 the proposed relationship with the EU should be put to the public


Leading Brexiteers have been accused of hypocrisy after it emerged they backed a second vote on previous constitutional decisions.

The anti-Brexit group, the European Movement in Scotland, says Tory MPs Iain Duncan-Smith, David Davis, Jacob Rees-Mogg and John Redwood all stated in relation to similar action that voters should be given an opportunity to change their mind.

The movement is urging MPs to back a People’s Vote in Tuesday’s crucial vote on Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement.

It has now emerged that in 1997 Mr Duncan-Smith said he had come up with a “device” allowing the Scottish and Welsh voters to say whether they thought that there should be a second referendum on the details of devolution legislation.

“Surely only when the detailed legislation has been passed by the House can we go to the people and say to them, ‘Is this what you said you wanted?” said Mr Duncan-Smith at the time.

During the 2011 Commons debate on an EU referendum, Mr Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, argued: “It might make more sense to have the second referendum after the renegotiation is completed”.

In a speech in 2012 former Brexit Secretary Mr Davis said the government should spell out what relationship it was seeking with the EU before putting it to the public in a “mandate referendum” and following up the outcome with a “decision referendum”.

He explained: “This in turn would mean that British citizens would be offered the best possible circumstances for staying in, as well as a real alternative in pulling out. The purpose of this strategy is to maximise both the democratic legitimacy and the negotiating leverage to achieve our policy aims.”

The proposal was backed by fellow Brexiteer John Redwood. He claimed: “This seems to me to be the best way forward.”

Mark Lazarowicz, chairman of the European Movement in Scotland said: “It is clearly utter hypocrisy for these major Brexiteers who previously backed the holding of such a referendum, to then argue so ferociously against it.

“There is a clear public demand for the holding of a referendum on the deal, and if MPs can change their minds as these individuals have, then so too do the public.

“Brexit will affect the current generation for years to come and it is vital for our democracy and our country that we now have a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”

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