01:44 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Demonstrators hold EU and Union flags during an anti-Brexit protest opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, December 17, 2018

    British Worker's Union Official Predicts ‘Awful Backlash' if Brexit Deal Fails

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    With parliament set to vote on the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union on Tuesday, things could get worse quickly for the country if the deal ultimately falls through, Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the UK's Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union, told Sputnik.

    "There will be an awful backlash if Brexit isn't carried out," Hedley told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Monday. "People will feel that the democratic system is democratic in name only."

    Ahead of Tuesday's showdown, UK Prime Minister Theresa May toured the country in an effort to drum up support for the parliamentary vote, which Hedley believes won't go in May's favor. In her efforts, May has stressed to those who've listened that if the Brexit deal sputters out, it'll cause massive setbacks to the British economy and politics.

    As a last minute plea to her fellow members of parliament, May urged them on Monday to take a "second look" at her deal before the critical vote, stressing that members may be painted negatively in history books should they fail to deliver on the results of the referendum, the Guardian reported.

    ​Hedley told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that once it's time to vote, conservatives will likely call for a people's vote so that UK citizens will be able to make the final call on the matter.

    "I think that, looking back on it, that there's a real possibility that we've been played for a year or so now since the Brexit vote was taken," Hedley said. "I think what the conservatives are going to say is that parliament is paralyzed, there's no majority for anything, and they're going to push a people's vote."

    "I think the people's vote is going to be a second referendum, which I believe will come back with a slim majority to remain," he added.

    Recently, a group of anti-Brexit parliament members drafted legislation in a bid to pave the way for a referendum, according to the Business Insider. The two bills would allow the UK's Electoral Commission to prepare for the referendum by establishing the official campaign and, of course, the referendum itself.

    "We have worked together on a cross-party — and no-party — basis to provide a pragmatic solution to the present impasse," Lord Lisvane, former Clerk of the House of Commons, told the Insider. Lord Lisvane was one of several experts consulted on the drafted bills.

    "Now that people know what the options are, it seems right to let them choose. This bill provides for that," he said.

    As for May, holding a second referendum would be a "catastrophic and unforgivable breach of trust in our democracy," she recently wrote in the Sunday Express.

    Should May ultimately be of the losing side come Tuesday, British media speculated that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn may call for a vote of no-confidence. The prime minister previously survived such a vote from within her own Conservative Party in December 2018, with 200 votes in her favor and 117 against.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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