19:50 GMT18 February 2020
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    Despite not sharing the prime minister’s optimism, the minister said the UK should proceed with Brexit as the electorate made a “democratic decision” to leave the European Union in 2016.

    Minister for Cabinet Office David Lidington has refused to back Prime Minister Theresa May’s claim that Britain will be better off outside the EU, saying any deal will involve an element of compromise.

    Lidington said there are still “hurdles” in withdrawal negotiations with Brussels, stressing that the UK government’s primary concern is to secure a deal which safeguards jobs and the economy. 

    READ MORE: Without a Withdrawal Agreement, There’s no Transition Period — Prof on Brexit

    Earlier, PM May said her party will “make a success of Brexit”, insisting that the UK’s “best days lie ahead.”

    Despite campaigning for Britain to remain in the bloc in the run up to the 2016 referendum, the minister said he respects the vote’s result, downplaying the need for a fresh referendum.

    “The people took a democratic decision and I accepted before and subsequent to the referendum that, while the vote was close, it was decisive on a massive turnout.”

    Anti-Brexit campaigners are still calling for a second vote to be held to give Brits an opportunity to bail out of Brexit, especially with the prospect of a no-deal scenario looming large.

    However, the government has repeatedly shrugged off these calls, insisting it already has a mandate to pull Britain out of the union via the 2016 vote, which saw the electorate narrowly vote in favour of withdrawing from the EU.

    READ MORE: Boris Johnson: British People Did Not Vote for Colony Status

    Related:

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    UK Prime Minister May: Time is Running Out, Brexit Talks 'In the Endgame'
    Brexit More Divisive for Britain Than Iraq War - Former UK PM Gordon Brown
    Dangerous Oscillation as Brexit Deal Gets Banged Up & Time's Running Out
    Tags:
    referendum, economy, Brexit, UK Government, European Union, David Lidington, Theresa May, United Kingdom
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