Three Tory ministers are now backing a new public Brexit referendum, said Phillip Lee. Lee said he heard the news at the Conservative conference event after having quit the government.
“On the Cusp” of Resigning
Dr. Phillip Lee left the government in June to support calls for a fresh public referendum vote about Great Britain’s departure from the European Union. Lee said that at a Conservative conference event, he learned that at least three Tory ministers were now supporting the idea of a new Brexit referendum. Moreover, he stated that there were more ministers “on the cusp” of resignation.
So far, the government ministers support another public Brexit vote in private. Lee has spent his time since leaving the government to speak out against Brexit and that other ministers are on the brink of resigning for similar reasons.
Lee cautioned a fringe event at the annual conference of the Conservative party that the Tories were now “on the side of angry men, against women and young people.”
Privately Supporting a New Referendum
According to a report in The Independent, when Lee was asked how many Tory MPs were privately supporting a Final Stay referendum campaign, he replied that “I suspect there are significant numbers of colleagues who see the argument for a second vote.” This occurred at a People’s Vote event at the annual Conservative conference.
“I know of some others ministers who do, who I’ve had direct conversations with, but it is a difficult environment for them to come out,” added Lee. “I think more are on the cusp, but it needs public support and business support and I think you’ll see more come out and support us.”
The People’s Vote Campaign
The People’s Vote event was focused on a campaign that would give Great Britain a new opportunity to vote in a public referendum. Former education secretary Justine Greening also spoke at the event. She said that providing the public with a new opportunity to vote on Brexit was the only chance to break the British parliament’s “stalemate”.
“The Chequers deal isn’t going to get through, I don’t think a Canada deal would get through and no-deal is absolutely going to be voted down by parliament. Those are just the facts,” said Greening. “We are going to reach stalemate … I think there is a growing band of Conservative MPs who have thought their way through this and reached the logical conclusion that a referendum is the only way we can unblock parliament’s stalemate.”
Greening also stated that “a growing number of Conservative MPs” have acknowledged this to be the case. That said, she pointed out that it is not a matter of if those MPs would make their opinions known; it is a matter of when.
Greening cautioned Tory members that the Conservatives would suffer at the ballot unless it gave the public the chance to decide on Brexit’s terms. She warned that the term “Tory Brexit” would haunt the country and that there would be no way for the party to recover if it is unsuccessful.