David Miliband has called for a referendum to be held on the terms of the UK’s exit
It comes after Labour veteran David Miliband provoked outrage by insisting there should be a second vote on the terms of Britain’s final exit deal with the European Union – with an option to reject Brexit and stay in the bloc.
He urged MPs of all parties to unite to fight the “worst consequences” of Brexit which he said was an “unparalleled act of economic self-harm”.
The intervention by the former foreign secretary, who is now the highly paid head of a refugee charity based in the US, was immediately slapped down by politicians.
Conservative MP Peter Bone said: “David Miliband is a member of the super-elite who think they know better than anyone else.
“They think they can overrule the wishes of the British people expressed through a democratic referendum, one of the greatest democratic processes this country has ever seen, in which all the arguments were paraded and the people made their decision.”
He accused Mr Miliband and others of trying back-door routes to stop the Brexit vote being enacted.
David Miliband is a member of the super-elite
Conservative MP Peter Bone
Mr Bone added: “They’re saying ‘we know better than the British people, we will play a long game and the longer we can keep it going, eventually we will see a way of stopping Brexit’.
“The whole point of the referendum was that it gave the British people the right to decide.
“Both sides said they would accept the result but the elites were so certain they know best and the underlings would follow their lead, that when it went the other way they couldn’t believe it so they set about trying to undo it.”
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In a newspaper article, Mr Miliband said the country must be allowed a decision on the final Brexit deal.
Claiming people voted to leave the EU without knowing the alternative, he wrote: “That is one reason it is essential that Parliament or the public are given the chance to have a straight vote between EU membership and the negotiated alternative. People say we must respect the referendum. We should. But democracy did not end on June 23, 2016. The referendum will be no excuse if the country is driven off a cliff.
“MPs are there to exercise judgment. Delegating to Theresa May and David Davis, never mind Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, the settlement of a workable alternative to EU membership is a delusion, not just an abdication.”
The former Labour MPs statement was met with anger from Brexiteers
He said Britain needed the closest possible relations with the EU, “a coalition of democratic states which pledge to advance human rights, the rule of law and democratic rules”.
He added: “That is not a threat to Britain; it is the team we should be in.”
Pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey said: “British people voted to leave the EU.
Conservative MP Peter Bone called Mr Miliband a ‘member of the super-elite’
“Rather than being a grievance vote it was a vote of confidence in the UK’s ability to be in control of its own trade, borders and courts.
“We are now implementing that decision and the message from the country is: get on with the task.
“David Miliband is clearly out of touch from his distant New York home and should stick to his well-paid job in a charity.”