British members of the European Parliament (MEP) who represent areas that overwhelmingly voted ‘leave' have been campaigning for a second Brexit referendum behind closed doors, it has been revealed by the Telegraph, earning them the scorn of former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage.
About 19 MEPs from leave constituencies have been urging for what is often billed as a ‘people's vote' alongside nine separate MEPs who represent areas that voted for the UK to remain in Europe. The Telegraph says that in total, 28 British politicians out of the 73 British seats in Brussels and Strasbourg are pushing for a second vote on Brexit.
Former United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, perhaps one of Brexit's most vociferous public advocates, slammed the MEPs in an interview with the Telegraph, saying that, "this shows a chasm of disconnect between self-absorbed Remainer politicians and the people they fail to represent."
Farage added that the second referendum-backing MEPs, particularly those 19 from leave-voting constituencies, had given credence to the idea of a second referendum being held, and only gave hope "to those who despise the biggest democratic vote in British history."
Indeed, Mr Farage is not the only one who holds close to that sentiment. As is evident by the abundance of frustration on social media.
I’m not surprised, the pull of the EU gravy train must be strong.— Harry Stottle 🇬🇧 🇬🇷 🇮🇱 #LeaveMeansLeave (@harry_gowto) 31 March 2019
Parliament needs to deliver the process of Brexit and then seek to change the countries mindset.— Lord MAW (@lord_maw) 31 March 2019
— Donna hussain (@Donnahussain7) 31 March 2019
— Deadduck (@DDeaduck) 31 March 2019
The MEPs in question hail from across the party spectrum, reportedly including politicians from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.
Theresa May's Brexit deal was gunned down before flight for a third time last week by 344 to 286 votes. It was voted down in mid-March 2019 by 391 to 242. The first time it was rejected was two months earlier in mid-January 2019, by 432 to 202 votes, the largest defeat for a sitting government in British parliamentary history.
There is now rife speculation that the UK government will inevitably have to pursue another extension on the Brexit deadline, but this time for a much longer duration, making the UK's participation in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections a real possibility. The Telegraph reports that current MEPs have already been asked if they intend to stand again.
Mr Farage said in his interview that he recognises some British MEPs may wish to stand in the elections despite Brexit, yet he added that he takes "a different view," saying that "acknowledging different opinions is the basis of democracy. Where I take issue with some opposition MEPs is when they work with the officials in Brussels to further EU interests in the negotiations at the expense of Britain."
"This is disloyalty, not democracy," he reportedly added.