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Nicky Morgan: I would vote to remain in EU in second referendum

However, she insisted she did not support holding another poll.

Nicky Morgan said her views on Brexit had evolved (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Nicky Morgan said her views on Brexit had evolved (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan has said she would vote to remain in the European Union if given the chance in a second referendum.

The Culture Secretary insisted she did not support holding another poll and believed the original result needed to be “fulfilled”.

But in an interview with BBC Breakfast, Ms Morgan, who backed the Remain campaign in 2016, said she would vote the same way in a second referendum.

“I would vote to remain,” she said.

Pressed on the remarks in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Morgan explained: “I feel very firmly that the result of the 2016 referendum needs to be fulfilled and that’s why I’m in the Cabinet and that’s why I support Boris Johnson’s determination to make sure that we do leave the EU by October 31, preferably with a deal…

“My instincts are that I was sorry that the Remain campaign didn’t win in 2016 and that really I’m sorry that we’ve seen all the division and uncertainty over the last three-and-a-half years.”

She said she would vote to stay in the EU “for the same reasons that I felt very firmly back in 2016 and I campaigned for Remain” – which she said were both economic and geopolitical.

But Ms Morgan went on to insist that her views on the matter had “evolved” because she could now “see a way for the UK to leave the EU and to do it with a deal and to strike out in different ways in the rest of the world”.

Meanwhile Tory former Brexit secretary David Davis suggested the Government may have a “legal strategy” to avoid extending Britain’s EU membership beyond October 31, despite the so-called Benn Act to avoid a no-deal.

I think there may well be a legal strategy - I’ve no idea what it is - but I think that may well be the way through, to effectively legally kill off the Benn Bill and then find a way of coming back to the negotiations with a real sword of Damocles over them, the Europeans, rather than over us David Davis

The legislation, which received royal assent earlier this week, would require the Prime Minister to seek an extension unless a divorce deal is approved or Parliament agrees to leaving the EU without a deal by October 19.

“I think there may well be a legal strategy – I’ve no idea what it is – but I think that may well be the way through, to effectively legally kill off the Benn Bill and then find a way of coming back to the negotiations with a real sword of Damocles over them, the Europeans, rather than over us,” Mr Davis told BBC Radio 4’s The Week In Westminster.

Prime Minister Mr Johnson has repeatedly stated that he will take Britain out of the EU at the end of next month, and said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for an extension.

PA

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