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Guildford’s MP Believes Second Brexit Referendum May Be The Only Option

Published on: 13 Jan, 2019
Updated on: 15 Jan, 2019

Rt Hon Anne Milton MP

Guildford’s MP, Anne Milton, who is expected to vote in favour of the prime minister’s negotiated Brexit deal in the “meaningful” parliamentary vote on Tuesday (January 15, 2019), now believes a second referendum might be the only way to resolve the Brexit issue.

Ms Milton the minister of state for skills and apprenticeships, is on record saying her government position will not influence the way she votes.

In a response to constituents who have written to her about Brexit, she said if, as expected, the tabled deal is voted down, Parliament will be left with two options: leaving on WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms or; a second referendum.

She said: “I am strongly of the belief that there is not a majority of MPs who want to leave on WTO rules,” and although she has “great concerns” about a second referendum it may be, she believes, the only way to resolve the parliamentary “impasse”.

Anne Milton’s letter to constituents, in full:

Over the past month alone, I have received thousands of pieces of correspondence from constituents (letters, emails and phone calls) about Brexit. I want you to know that I do appreciate the concerns and frustrations that have been raised as the debate on our withdrawal from the EU continues. Time does not allow for me to respond to every individual point, but I want you to know that I do read through all the comments and points you raise. Please do continue to share them with me. It is invaluable for me to hear all the very different opinions.

I would like to update you on the events in the House of Commons this week. The debate on the Withdrawal Agreement resumed on Wednesday 8 January and will continue until the vote on the Agreement on Tuesday 15 January. On Wednesday, the Government accepted a key amendment to the EU Withdrawal Act. This amendment, tabled by Dominic Grieve MP, means that if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down, the Government must present the next steps to Parliament in 3 working days, instead of 21.

Two of the options, if the Agreement does not get through the House, are that we either leave on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules or we have a second referendum. I am strongly of the belief that there is not a majority of MPs who want to leave on WTO rules. It may be the case that another referendum might get a majority in the House, however it is possible that other options may be put forward.

I have great concerns about a second referendum. I now understand, however, that it may be the only way out of any impasse that Parliament will face if the Agreement is voted down. Until the House faces such a deadlock, it will be very difficult to enact the enabling legislation for a second referendum.

As I have mentioned, the debate on the Agreement is scheduled to continue until the vote on Tuesday 15 January. I am certain that all outcomes will be considered and I encourage you to follow the debates live via the link at: You can also find a transcript of what has already been discussed since the debate resumed, at: Please let me know if you would like a paper copy of the debates, as I can arrange for this to be sent you.

When it comes to the vote on Tuesday, I will consider all of the advice that I have been given and vote for what I believe is the right thing for my constituents and for the country. Thank you again for contacting me, please continue to do so, and I will keep you updated as the debate continues in the House.

See also: Opinion: We Need To Be 100% Free of the European Union

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Responses to Guildford’s MP Believes Second Brexit Referendum May Be The Only Option

  1. David Raison Reply

    January 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    What a terrible, undemocratic stance. We had a referendum and voted to leave the EU. That our self-serving MPs want to subvert the wishes of the electorate is disgraceful.

  2. DCS Willis Reply

    January 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Whilst a majority of the country voted to leave the EU, nobody knew on what terms. We now know the terms so it is understandable that the country should be asked if those terms are acceptable.

    But if this is a “yes” or “no” question and the response is “no”, then what? Do we start the process all over again? Whilst the terms are far from perfect, they satisfy those who want to maintain some form of economic relationship and those who want to see us in control of our borders.

  3. Richard Peters Reply

    January 13, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    What can possibly be undemocratic about having another referendum? What the Brexiters promised in the referendum campaign cannot be delivered. We are now faced with two options, both of which are less attractive than our present situation.

    Parliament is deadlocked. Government has been paralysed by Brexit for the past two years. We are a laughing stock around the world. Huge damage is being done to our economy. Either we have another referendum or we postpone the idea of leaving the EU for ten years and use the time to develop a workable idea of what we want.

  4. John Schluter Reply

    January 13, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    A majority of the country did not vote to leave the EU. Only 37% of the electorate did.

    • Stuart Barnes Reply

      January 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      That is a ridiculous comment from John Schluter. On his “logic” virtually no vote about anything would be considered.

    • Mike Gibson Reply

      January 14, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      And now young people aged 18 to 20 years who were ineligible to vote in June 2016 should have an opportunity to express their will – it’s their future more than anybody’s.

      • Sean Jenkinson Reply

        January 16, 2019 at 8:10 pm

        There will always be someone too young to vote, should we have a vote every year because someone was too young at the time of the previous vote? Should we have a general election every year because someone was too young to vote?

        I was too young to vote on joining the common market. Should they have waited till I was old enough to vote before we joined?

  5. RWL Davies Reply

    January 14, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Quite, the apathetic and the don’t knows were all Remainers you know.

    And, given that many elderly leave voters have now gone to a better place and a new generation of Remainers has emerged the referendum is clearly null and void.

  6. John Perkins Reply

    January 14, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Whatever the percentage, more voted to Leave than to Remain.

    It’s more likely that most believed the terms would be something like a clean break than that “nobody knew”. Alternatives are always presented as the only options, yet somehow they’re just the ones proffered by those who would prefer us to remain in.

    What could possibly be undemocratic about asking a question repeatedly until the required answer is received? How about another general election instead?

  7. Harry Elson Reply

    January 14, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I wish people would stop banging on about the result of the EU Referendum, the percentages and so on. The list is endless as this argument can be levelled at every vote taken.

    The result of any election or referendum is based on the turn out of the people who bothered to vote. The truth is that a majority is a majority. The definition in the dictionary is “more than half of the total number” – end of story.

    I think what is alluded to is a desire that we keep voting until we get the result some want, then the other side demands a vote until they get the result they want.

    It was a majority, we all need to live with it.

  8. L Edwards Reply

    January 14, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Following on from John Schluter’s reply that only 37% voted to Leave, one can say only 34% of the electorate voted to Remain. Stats can be twisted to suit one’s own arguments. We will never know how the 29% of the electorate who did not vote would have voted. We can only assume it would have been in the same proportions.

    I do not believe we should have another referendum, if Parliament can’t agree with Theresa May’s proposal then we should leave under WTO Terms.

  9. Charlie Nicholls Reply

    January 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    So why should the other 63% have any claim on the decision-making process now or the chance to overturn the process that the majority of those who voted, voted for? If others couldn’t be bothered to express their opinion when given the chance so be it.

    Not voting is a choice – they weren’t interested and left it to everyone else then so their views now shouldn’t be considered in turning over what others did vote for.

  10. Charlie Nicholls Reply

    January 15, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    People keep going on about young, in the same way they use statistics as a way of turning the vote over to get the result they want.

    The young do get a say, had they actually produced statistics at the time we would probably have found that the majority of the referendum vote that confirmed our membership of the EU in 1975 was made up of young people. Therefore they have had their choice for almost the last 50 years and whoever voted not to go in whether young or old has got on and lived with other peoples choices and not spent the last 50 years trying to turn over the result.

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