LONDON, Jan 11 — Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage suggested today that Britain hold a second referendum on EU membership which he claims would silence those who are against leaving the bloc, but the proposed new vote is getting support from pro-EU politicians.
“Maybe, just maybe, we should have a second referendum on EU membership. It would kill off the issue for a generation once and for all,” Farage said on Twitter.
Earlier, the former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader told The Wright Stuff, a panel television show on Channel 5: “My mind is actually changing on this.”
He said that pro-Europeans such as former prime minister Tony Blair “will never ever ever give up”.
“They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process,” he added.
“So maybe, just maybe, I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership,” said Farage, who was one of the main driving forces behind the June 2016 vote.
“The percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time around.
“And we may just finish the whole thing off and Blair can just disappear off into total obscurity.”
The Liberal Democrats and other pro-EU opposition politicians have called for a second referendum, arguing that Britons did not know the full implications of leaving the European Union when they voted.
Many of them reacted quickly in support of Farage’s proposal, expressing confidence about winning the second time around.
“For perhaps the first time in his life, Nigel Farage is making a valid point,” said Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a leading supporter of the pro-EU Open Britain campaign group.
Tom Brake, Brexit spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Farage shouldn’t be so confident of winning. People are now far more aware of the costs of Brexit and the fabrications of the Leave campaign.”
Andrew Adonis, who resigned as head of a government-backed infrastructure commission last month, said: “So Nigel Farage wants a referendum on Mrs May’s Brexit deal. I agree. Bring it on.”
UKIP said they were still opposed to a second referendum, although party leader Henry Bolton said he was confident Brexit would win by a bigger margin.
“To hold such a referendum would be to call into question the decisive importance of the largest democratic exercise ever held by this country,” Bolton said.
British voters in last year’s referendum chose to leave the EU by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out a second vote. — AFP
Source: The Malay Mail Online