“A hammer blow to wider EU reform” — Sutton and Cheam MP rejects second referendum calls and cements support for Brexit

A south London MP today offered a stern riposte to calls for a second EU referendum after comments made by prominent Leave campaigner Nigel Farage last week.

Paul Scully, Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam who also pushed for an EU exit, responded to Mr Farage speaking on The Wright Stuff of the growing need for another vote, to finally ‘kill off’ the Remain argument.

Mr Scully claimed a second referendum would only compound the issues created by the first in June 2016, when 52% of the UK voted to leave the EU.

He said: “Many people unhappy with the first referendum believed it was divisive and created uncertainty – a second referendum would be no less divisive and would stretch out the uncertainty for even longer.

“A vote to remain would be a hammer blow to wider EU reform as it would embolden the Brussels centre and diminish individual member states, and a second vote to leave would simply reaffirm the position that the government had at the time.”

The electoral district created for Sutton at the referendum returned a 54% leave vote, but research by Royal Holloway University’s Chris Hanretty that included the entire parliamentary constituency of Sutton and Cheam showed the result to be closer, at 51% leave.

Sutton was one of just five London districts to vote to leave the EU, with 27 voting remain, and Mr Scully believes a second referendum would be unwelcome.

He said: “Making people vote until the establishment gets the result that it wants cheapens the value of referendums in the first place and further disconnects voters from the EU as they feel that their voice goes unheard.

“I have had a handful of constituents say that they might change their minds, mainly those who originally voted to remain as they simply want us to get on with the job of leaving.”

Mr Scully also worries allowing the public to vote again would create further obstacles for the UK’s negotiators in their talks with EU officials.

“The country voted to leave the EU and so it is the duty of the government to make sure we do that in the best way possible – the prospect of a second referendum will severely weaken the UK’s negotiating hand.

“In the event of a second referendum happening, the EU will have every reason to offer us a poor deal that we would inevitably have to turn down.”

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