Timetable for Brexit deal referendum in December 2018
By Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Today, I've have set out a potential timetable for a referendum on the Brexit deal to be held in December 2018, as an 'early Christmas present' for the millions of people who support a vote on the deal.
The timetable would allow people to choose whether to accept the deal or stay in the EU.
It comes ahead of a Commons' vote tonight on a Liberal Democrat amendment to the Withdrawal Bill that would secure a referendum on the deal.
The amendment calls on the government to set a date on which the referendum would be held and says the vote must give the public the choice to accept the final Brexit deal or remain in the EU.
We would campaign to remain in any referendum on the deal, as we believe no deal the government could negotiate will be better than the one we currently enjoy as a member of the EU.
This potential timeline to a public vote shows Brexit is not a done deal - it can be stopped, but only with the approval of the British public.
Support is growing for a public vote on whatever botched Brexit deal the Conservatives manage to get from the EU.
It's time the Conservatives - and the Labour leadership - listened.
Ultimately, the Liberal Democrats don't believe the government can negotiate any deal which is better than the one we currently have as a member of the EU.
That is why we will campaign to remain in the EU in any future referendum.
Liberal Democrat Proposed Timetable for Referendum on the Deal
April 2018: Royal Assent given to the EU Withdrawal Bill
April 2018: Government introduces a Referendum on the Deal Bill, in line with the stipulations set out in the amendment:
May 2018: Royal Assent given to Referendum on the Deal Bill
September 2018: 12 week referendum campaign begins, with vote scheduled for early December. (European Parliament will also have a vote in this time and European Council must approve the deal)
December 2018: Referendum concluded, and Parliamentary vote held. In the case of a vote to remain in the EU, Article 50 would be withdrawn (Lord Kerr, author of Article 50 has stated this is possible).