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Farron: People must be given final say on Europe

February 1, 2017 1:40 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has said that he will vote against the government today unless they allow the people a referendum on the final deal, saying "the British people must be given the final say".

Liberal Democrat MPs have tabled amendments to the Article 50 Bill demanding a people's vote is held on the final Brexit deal, that the government must commit to securing Britain's membership of the Single Market and that EU nationals living in the UK are guaranteed the right to remain.

According to an amendment tabled by Liberal Democrat MPs including Tim Farron, a vote should be held with the question on the ballot paper asking voters if they support the new proposed agreement with the EU, or if they want the UK to remain a member of the EU. The party have also tabled an amendment to make it the Government's official objective to remain in the Single Market after Brexit.

Last June, South Lakeland voted overall in favour of remain, by 53% to 47%. MPs will this evening vote on the bill to trigger Article 50.

Tim said: "As a democrat, I respect the will of the people. Although our area voted to remain, the country overall voted to leave, so the government has a mandate to go away and negotiate a deal with the EU. However, the question now is 'Who will sign the deal off?' It will either be Theresa May's government in Whitehall, or it will be the privileged few who sit in parliament, or it will be the people as a whole. We say that it must be the people as a whole. We started this process with democracy, we should end it with democracy - not a stitch-up between the government and Brussels. I will only back Article 50 if the government commits to giving the British people the final say on whether they want to accept the government's deal or stay in the EU.

"I will also continue to push the government to maintain membership of the single market, so that local farmers and businesses can continue to export to the world's largest single market without facing crippling tariffs."