Heritage Foundation Director Nile Gardiner told FOX Business that a no-deal Brexit is the best and most realistic option for the United Kingdom to move forward instead of a second referendum as the U.K. is due to leave the European Union on March 29.
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“The British people already voted on Brexit emphatically back in 2016. They voted to leave the European Union. It is very important to respect that vote, to respect the democratic will of the British people,” he said on FOX Business’ “After the Bell” on Tuesday.
The British Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a wide margin: There were 202 yes votes for the prime minister’s plan and 432 votes to reject deal, making it the worst defeat for a government in a Parliamentary vote in the country’s history dating back to 1924.
Gardiner, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, said a second referendum would be a “slap on the face” to the estimated 17.4 million British people who voted to leave the EU.
“There’s no realistic prospect of a second referendum as long as you have conservative government in power,” he said. “The only chance you will see that is if this government is brought down tomorrow.”
May has a clearer choice going forward, opting to either resign and sparking a leadership contest within the conservative party or she could seek a further renegotiation with the EU, according to Gardiner.
“The EU I think isn’t interested in any further renegotiation on this exit deal,” he said.