Thursday, June 30, 2016

Do Over? UK Lawmakers Push for Second Referendum on Leaving EU
Just under 52 percent of British citizens voted on June 23 to leave the European Union.

29 June 2016

The lawmakers say voters should be given a chance to weigh in on the terms of leaving the European Union.

Two MPs have begun moves to secure a second referendum on leaving the European Union, saying that voters must be given a chance to approve or reject the country's exit plan before formal negotiations begin.

Millions of Britons have reacted with shock after the country voted last week to leave the EU by 52 to 48 percent, triggering financial market turmoil, economic uncertainty and a political crisis engulfing the country's two main parties.

That has pushed some MPs to put out a rallying cry for members of parliament to show their support for a second referendum that would allow the public to vote again once the shape of Britain's new relationship with the EU becomes clear.

"UK citizens must agree on the terms of leaving the EU and, if not satisfied, be given the opportunity to opt for the UK to remain an EU member," said a formal notice submitted to parliament by MP Geraint Davies of the Labour Party.

The motion, backed by a second MP, Jonathan Edwards of the Welsh Plaid Cymru party, noted that nearly 4 million members of the public had signed a petition for a second vote.

Davies said that informal negotiations with other EU leaders should be used to compile a Brexit plan, which should then be put to a public vote before the "Article 50" legal process of leaving the bloc, a period of up to two years, is activated.

The ruling Conservative Party has said it will not trigger Article 50 until its new leader has been appointed, due by Sept. 9, although some European leaders have called for the process to begin much sooner and dismissed the notion of informal talks.

The notice, compiled on the legal advice of an academic constitutional lawyer, has no formal power to force a second referendum. But it will be used as a vehicle to gather signatures from other MPs and generate political momentum.

Davies said he expected it to attract more than 100 signatures, which he believed would be enough to prompt a serious discussion on the issue.

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