Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg: Second referendum needed for British people to bookend Brexit process

Rebecca Smith
Clegg says the whole process should be
Clegg says the whole process should be "bookended" by the British people (Source: Getty)

Nick Clegg has made no secret of his pro-Europe views.

And he might rankle some Brexit supporters with his latest comments on the whole process of leaving the European Union.

Speaking on LBC radio, the former Deputy Prime Minister said he still felt there needed to be a second referendum.

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"We believe that since the Brexiteers didn't deign to spell out to the British people what on earth Brexit really means, and still appear unable to do so, we should give the people a say at the end of the process, so the whole process is bookended if you like, by the British people," he said. "They decide on the departure from the European Union and they decide on the new arrangements that will, I guess, eventually be negotiated between the UK and EU."

Clegg said he felt that if he and the Liberal Democrats get their way, by the end of the process, "the British people will be able to have a say, including those Brexiteers who may by that time be pretty cheesed off that they haven't got £350m a week for the NHS, they haven't got a points-based immigration system, they haven't got a cut in VAT".

He repeated that his party didn't think it was a good idea to leave the EU at all and acknowledged that the only thing that can reverse a referendum decision by the people "is another decision by the people", whether that be another referendum as Clegg wants, or a general election.

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Clegg also said he was "at a complete loss" as to "why Theresa May's wasting our taxpayers' money contesting this thing in the Supreme Court when she knows she's got the vote in the bag already, because the Labour party have given her unconditional support".

The former Liberal Democrat leader was clear that it will become "more materially obvious in the years to come" that there's only so much a country can do in a globalised world to provide prosperity, "by cutting yourself off from your European neighbours".

Next week, the Attorney General will lead the government's Supreme Court appeal against the decision that Theresa May's administration doesn't have the power to start the Brexit process unilaterally.

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