Far from shoring up Conservative support for No Deal or a vicious Brexit, Boris Johnson’s tactic of deploying draconian discipline against dissident voices in his party has only served to make a growing number of Tories open to – or even to explicitly back – a People’s Vote as the only democratic route out of the Brexit crisis.
In the last 48 hours, Ken Clarke – a man who has spent 50 years opposing referendums – has joined Amber Rudd and David Gauke in saying that a final say referendum could be a legitimate way out of the Brexit crisis, while last week Anne Milton and Antoinette Sandbach went further and explicitly advocated a confirmatory referendum to bring closure to the Brexit process.
And before that Philip Hammond, the former Chancellor, acknowledged that a People’s Vote was a legitimate solution to the ongoing political gridlock.
Today People’s Vote is launching a new video to highlight the words of Clarke, Gauke and Rudd and is urging the still significant number of Conservative voters who back a final say referendum to come on the campaign’s 19 October march and to write to their MP urging them to support a People’s Vote ahead of any general election – as a means both of uniting the country and of healing the wounds in the Conservative Party by bringing closure to the often toxic Brexit debate before it dominates any election campaign.
Notes to editors:
The video can be seen at: https://twitter.com/peoplesvote_uk/status/1177218548449591297
On Monday Ken Clarke said: “If you had to have a referendum to validate the Withdrawal Agreement or decide what the alternatives are if we don’t, I might resign myself to that.”
Yesterday David Gauke told Channel 4 News: “And the point I would make to a lot of my Conservative, perhaps I should say my former Conservative, colleagues is that if they don’t back a deal then there plainly is a move towards a second referendum”.
And Amber Rudd told Robert Peston: “Better? Probably yes … Probably better than a general election because my concern is that a general election wouldn’t resolve anything.”