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Theresa May’s new Brexit bill offers opportunity for a People’s Vote

Theresa May’s new Brexit bill offers opportunity for a People’s Vote

LGBT+ for a People's Vote at the 700,000 strong march in London

Prime Minister Theresa May has shown there is an opportunity for a People’s Vote on Brexit.

The Conservative leader has said they have ‘one last chance’ to deliver after numerous failed attempts to exit the European Union.

MPs will also get a vote on whether to hold another referendum, she said in Parliament moments ago (21 May).

However, they must also back her EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

May also said the bill contains new guarantees on workers’ rights, environmental protections.

The bill also includes the Irish backstop as well as a customs ‘compromise’.

May: Brexit could be ‘stopped’ 

If MPs reject the bill, May warned a negotiated exit would be ‘dead in the water’ and Brexit could be stopped.

The bill comes after what is thought to be the largest protest in British history.

Over 1.2 million people came out to march in London against Brexit in March.

The march came as a result of years of mishandling Brexit by Theresa May and the Conservative government. The Prime Minister has attempted to put her much-maligned deal through Parliament several times. Every time it was defeated by large margins by both Remain and Brexit supporting members.

If the deal is not passed, the UK faces crashing out of the European Union with no deal. Many experts warned that a no deal could result in food and medicine shortages across the country.

This could spell widespread disaster for the LGBTI community.

What do the activists think?

Kathryn Breitner, director of LGBT+ for a People’s Vote, told Gay Star News:

‘The Prime Minister’s effort to persuade MPs who support a People’s Vote that they must back her or lose the chance to give the public the final say, was contradicted by the admission that failure to agree to her deal could result in a new public vote and the possibility that the UK stays in the EU.

‘This is a last ditch effort to foist a deal neither Parliament nor the country wants on to the British people. It’s already failed three times and it will fail again.

‘She has offered supposedly new concessions, but has then admitted she has no way of guaranteeing that she could deliver any of them.

‘MPs are not going to accept offers from a Prime Minister who is on her way out and will be replaced by a hard-line successor. Nor will they vote through a blindfold Brexit: leaving the EU without any clear idea of our eventual destination.

‘Rejecting this offer will show definitively that there is no stable majority for any form of Brexit without putting the decision back to the people.’

European Elections on Thursday

Thursday is also the European Elections.

On 23 May, voters across the European Union will be asked to vote for MEPs to represent them in the European Parliament. This is particularly important for LGBTI voters, as the rise of far right parties poses a direct threat to the lives of the community.

If you are a British, EU or Commonwealth citizen living in the UK, you can register to vote here. It’s a simple form that only takes a couple of minutes. You’ll need a copy of your passport if you’re living abroad.

Tris Reid-Smith, Editor-in-Chief at Gay Star News and organizer of LGBT+ for a People’s Vote is urging LGBTI people across Europe to vote to protect their lives.

He said: ‘The European Elections are more important to LGBTI people and our friends, families and allies than ever before. We urgently need to turn out in huge numbers to stop the far-right parties who are hoping to benefit from our apathy.

‘The risk they pose is growing – but together we can defeat them.’