15:49 GMT +319 November 2019
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    UK Chancellor of Exchequer Says Confirmatory Brexit Referendum 'Credible' Option

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, has suggested that the so-called confirmatory referendum on any scenario of the country’s withdrawal from the European Union, suggested by opposition lawmakers, was a "credible proposition" which deserved to be voted by the parliament.

    "The confirmatory referendum idea — many people will disagree with it. I'm not sure there's a majority in the parliament for it. But it's a perfectly credible proposition that deserves to be tested in parliament," Hammond said in an interview with the ITV broadcaster, when asked to comment on his earlier claims that there was a rational case for a referendum on any Brexit scenario.

    Hammond continued by saying that a long Brexit deadline extension was an "expected" option, adding that the United Kingdom should be able to leave the European Union as soon as the withdrawal deal is passed.

    "We’ve made a clear decision that we will seek an extension. There are different views within the cabinet about the acceptable maximum length of that extension. And all of us want it to be as short as possible. We made a clear decision that we will not leave the next week [April 12] with no deal," Hammond argued.

    READ MORE: UK House of Commons Passes Bill Aimed at Making Gov't Request Brexit Delay

    On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May engaged in talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to secure an agreement on passing the Brexit deal in the parliament. Prior to the talks, 11 parliamentarians wrote a letter to the opposition leader, saying he should insist on holding the public vote on confirming the UK nationals’ intentions to exit the European Union.

    Later, the UK House of Commons passed a bill instructing the UK government to ask the European Union for the Brexit delay in a bid to avoid a no-deal scenario.

    Meanwhile, the Sun news outlet reported on Wednesday, citing May’s office that the prime minister was expected to request a nine-month deadline extension during an emergency meeting of the European Council the next Wednesday.

    "We are all acutely conscious of the threat that a no-deal Brexit would pose to the [European] Union. And I am acutely conscious of the threat that it would pose to the UK economy — to jobs and businesses across the country," Hammond also said in his interview with ITV.

    The deal on the UK withdrawal from the European Union has been agreed by both sides. However, UK lawmakers have so far failed to pass it, which prompted concerns of politicians on both sides that a no-deal Brexit might be a possibility. Though the lawmakers have repeatedly voted to rule out such a scenario, they have also voted down various other Brexit options, including the second referendum.


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    referendum, Brexit, European Union, Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Phillip Hammond, United Kingdom
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