More than 320,000 British citizens have signed a letter calling on the government and European Union to allow the public to decide on a Brexit agreement. Although Boris Johnson’s agreement has been approved by MPs it is still heavily criticised by parliamentarians. For that reason, the campaign People’s Vote has decided to write an open letter because it is concerned that the deal may hurt the country’s economy.
"We do not want the powerful to force on the people a Brexit that will damage the economy in both the UK and the EU, threaten the peace process in Northern Ireland, as well as lead to years more uncertainty and chaos. Allow us to check whether we want to proceed with this Brexit. Let us decide in a people’s vote", the letter reads.
The public letter will be delivered on 31 October, the current deadline for the UK to leave the bloc, simultaneously to Downing Street, the British Parliament, and the European Parliament. The development comes as British MPs rejected Boris Johnson’s plan to debate and sign off his Brexit deal in three days on Tuesday. However, they did approve the agreement itself. His predecessor Theresa May had her deal rejected by the Parliament three times.
European Union leaders meanwhile are considering whether to grant the United Kingdom an extension to Brexit after British MPs passed an amendment, forcing PM Johnson by law to request a Brexit delay. Johnson, who repeatedly said the United Kingdom would leave the European Union by the 31 October deadline “do or die”, honuored the law in a bizarre way by sending a photocopy of the letter, which he did not sign. He accompanied it with a second one in which he said a further delay would hurt both sides.
Commenting on Tuesday’s vote, the prime minister said he would “pause” his Brexit bill until the EU reaches a decision on a Brexit extension and stressed that the government would speed up preparations for a no-deal outcome. The PM also said should Brussels agree to delay Brexit, he would seek a general election.
How he intends to do that is unclear as the decision would need the backing of the Parliament.