UK home secretary Sajid Javid discounted on Tuesday (25 Septembre) the possibility of a second Brexit referendum and insisted that his government’s proposal, known as the Chequers Plan, has not been rejected by the European Union. EURACTIV’s partner efe-epa reports.
Speaking at the international news agency EFE’s Leaders’ Forum in Madrid, Javid said that ignoring the referendum would be to disregard the democratic will of the British people and that, contrary to popular perception, his government’s Plan had not been rejected by the EU, which has yet to deliver its response.
“There is not going to be a second referendum, this government will never support a second referendum,” Javid said.
He said there were many reasons not to back a second referendum, but the principal one was that the government had already asked the general public for its opinion. He said the British people had made their opinion clear and had issued their instructions to the politicians.
“It is dangerous to ignore the will of the people,” Javid said.
He also insisted that the EU still had to give a formal response to the Chequers Plan and that it had not rejected it.
“I can understand that some of the comments from the Salzburg summit last week might have suggested this,” he said, adding that the EU’s formal response to the plan was likely to be made in October.
He maintained that the common ground shared by the UK and the EU was far greater than “the ups and downs of the negotiations” might lead the public to think.
“There is a strong will on both sides to reach an agreement,” Javid said, adding that “the EU must respond to our proposal formally and say what it likes and does not like.”
Javid said cooperation on security with the EU would continue to be very important after Brexit.
“Once outside of the EU it will be different, but it should not be weaker,” he said.
He said the UK shared one of the strongest law enforcement arrangements in the world with Spain, and this would continue, and added he had met with his Spanish counterpart, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, to discuss matters of mutual security.
Javid reminded the politicians, diplomats and journalists attending the forum that diplomatic ties between the UK and Spain went back more than 500 years and commercial ties went back even further.
The UK was entering a phase of discussions with the EU that are to define the future of security cooperation in the future.
“I am sure we will reach a conclusion that will ensure the best way to guarantee security,” he said.