UK should hold new referendum, says Estonian MEP

Brexit supporters outside of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament in London.
Brexit supporters outside of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament in London. Source: Matt Dunham/AP/Scanpix

Ahead of a vote in the British Parliament on Saturday which ultimately did not support Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal, MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/Renew) said that the U.K. should hold a new referendum over the country's withdrawal from the EU.

"Given the current situation around Brexit, it would be the fairest and clearest way for the British Parliament to announce a new referendum," Paet said. "This is because a long time has passed since the current referendum already, and over this period of time, the U.K.'s voting-age population has changed by about six million people. This concerns both those who reached voting age after the referendum and those who have since passed."

The U.K.'s EU membership referendum was held on June 23, 2016.

"In addition, of course, [there is] all the confusion that a significant number of British politicians have caused themselves surrounding Brexit," the Estonian MEP continued. "Thus, if the wish is to make a substantive decision on such a historical choice, a new referendum would hae to be held. Everything else is simply a formality that is too much for Britain's major decisio regarding the future."

After losing a vote in the House of Commons, the lower house of the British Parliament, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as required by law, sent a request to the EU seeking another delay to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, the BBC reported.

The request was unsigned by Johnson, however, and accompanied by a second, signed letter in which the British prime minister stated that he believed that a delay would be a mistake.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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