Some MPs are set to remind the electorate that referendums are advisory and not binding on Parliament

Some MPs are set to remind the electorate that referendums are advisory and not binding on Parliament

This makes an early election even more likely in the event of Brexit

PB has learned

Pro-Remain MPs are considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market if there is a vote for Brexit, the BBC has learned.

The MPs fear a post-Brexit government might negotiate a limited free trade deal with the EU, which they say would damage the UK’s economy.

There is a pro-Remain majority in the House of Commons of 454 MPs to 147.

A Vote Leave campaign spokesman said MPs will not be able to “defy the will of the electorate” on key issues.

The single market guarantees the free movement of goods, people, services and capital.

The BBC has learned pro-Remain MPs would use their voting power in the House of Commons to protect what they see as the economic benefits of a single market, which gives the UK access to 500 million consumers.

Staying inside the single market would mean Britain would have to keep its borders open to EU workers and continue paying into EU coffers.

Ministers have told the BBC they expect pro-EU MPs to conduct what one called a “reverse Maastricht” process – a reference to the long parliamentary campaign fought by Tory eurosceptic MPs in the 1990s against legislation deepening EU integration.

Like then as now, the Conservative government has a small working majority of just 17.

They say it would be legitimate for MPs to push for the UK to stay in the single market because the Leave campaign has refused to spell out what trading relationship it wants the UK to have with the EU in the future.

As such, a post-Brexit government could not claim it had a popular mandate for a particular model.

One minister said: “This is not fantasy. This is a huge probability.

My reading of this is that some Remain MPs are genuinely concerned about losing this referendum, any MP who chooses to ignore the will of the people will be punished by the electorate at the next election, any Tory MP who is party to this will face deselection. More importantly, does Parliament really want to set a precedent for  the SNP to ignore the result of a referendum?

I’m a Remainer, but if the electorate, in their infinite wisdom, choose to Leave the EU, our elected representatives should respect that, failure to do so will widen the disconnect many of the electorate feel they have with their elected representatives. But if Parliament does intend to follow this course of action, an early election seems very likely, it is 10/1 on an election in 2016, and 10/1 on an election in 2017, if you’re not on already, you should be.


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