Rachael Maskell today called for a second vote on Brexit.

The York Central MP says a new mandate from the people is required because Parliament is deadlocked.


She wants to see a public vote to decide whether we stay in the European Union on our current terms, or exit on the terms negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Ms Maskell concedes this is a political failure, saying: “I believe that people have been badly failed by politics, at every level – Europe, Westminster and locally.”

Only way forward

Ms Maskell addressing a York Against Brexit rally in 2016
On Wednesday (27 February) Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn confirmed that his party now backs another EU referendum.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the shadow transport minister said she was also backing the vote. Theresa May had negotiated a “very poor outcome” which the Commons had wholeheartedly rejected.

  • Since, we have not made progress in Parliament. We have voted to stop a ‘no deal’ scenario, however this was not legally binding and is being ignored by the Prime Minister.

    We can now compare the current deal we have with the EU, with this new deal. In the light of the Parliamentary gridlock, I believe that the only way to resolve this situation is to put the option of these two deals back to the people across the country to have a final say.

    I was hoping that this scenario could have been avoided, but it is evident, that Mrs. May’s failure to secure a way forward, just four weeks before we are due to leave the EU, now requires a mandate from the country.

End the uncertainty

Campaigners at the York People’s Vote rally in St Helen’s Square last November. Photograph: Jacob Phillips
Ms Maskell said she understood people’s concerns about a second referendum.

“However it is my conclusion that this is the only way to resolve this gridlock and will prevent us falling into a ‘no deal’ scenario, which, as business has already told us, will have a catastrophic impact on trade and jobs,” she said.

And it would “put an end to the uncertainty which all of us are experiencing” on jobs, prices and EU citizenship.

Ms Maskell said:

  • Everyone has the right to confirm their vote or change their mind. This is what happens at all General Elections; this is democracy.

    As I have consistently done, I will follow the mandate that York gives me.

    To those who feel that Europe and politics has failed them, I say this: I believe that people have been badly failed by politics, at every level – Europe, Westminster and locally.

    It is time for a complete change in focus. We have to end the poverty, the lack of housing, the poor health and care services and secure good jobs.