Calls for a second referendum on Brexit are mounting as Britain approaches the last six months before leaving the EU, but the sands of time could be running out for diehard Remainers.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan be-came the latest big name to call for a vote, joining former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major and celebrities like football presenter Gary Lineker.
The Liberal Democrats, the only major political party advocating a vote, pushed their message again at a conference on Tuesday (18) as Eastern Eye went to print.
At the meeting in Brighton, party leader Vince Cable was set to urge prime minister Theresa May to “lead her party and the country by opening her mind to a people’s vote on the final deal”.
The government is opposed, while the Labour Party is not sup-porting the calls but also not ruling out the prospect.
Supporters of a second referendum are also divided over what the actual question might be, including whether it should include a question on staying in the EU.
Time is running down, as Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. In the 2016 referendum, 52 per cent voted to leave and 48 per cent wanted to stay. Bookmakers reckon the odds of a second referendum are around one in four.
Some commentators say that technically it may now be too late to hold a referendum and for the British and European parliaments to ratify any deal by Britain’s fixed departure date.
The main force calling for a second referendum is the cross-party People’s Vote campaign – the successor of 2016’s official Remain campaign.
Launched in April this year, it pumps out press releases every day, each explaining why the lat-est twist in the Brexit process necessitates a second referendum.
Five months on, though the campaign has gained traction, a referendum – and what it would ask-seem no closer.
May said on Monday (17) she thinks the only alternative to her blueprint to stay close to the EU on trade would be no deal at all.
But she has said a second referendum would be a “gross betrayal” of British democracy.
Prominent anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller turned up the temperature on Monday, telling the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton: “Make no mistake: time is running out.
“It’s time for politicians to do the morally and democratically right thing – to let the people decide their own future on the facts before it is too late.”