UK Chancellor George Osborne Says Second Referendum Not Possible; Britain no plan on European Union’s exit
Jan 21, 2016 07:58 PM EST
British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said that there will be no second referendum after the crucial In/Out referendum on the UK's membership with the European Union sometime this year. This is because Osborne predicts that referendum will settle the debate over Britain's relationship with the EU for at least a generation.
The Guardian said that the chancellor's statement highlights the importance of the coming EU referendum. Osborne says it is a "once in a lifetime" chance for British citizens to have a say on the United Kingdom should stay with the European Union or leave. The chancellor further predicted that the referendum will settle the fractious debate on the EU for the next fifty years.
The exact timing of the referendum depends upon when an agreement will be reached on a package of reform proposed by the UK. It claims that it will benefit not only the UK but the other members of the bloc as well. The Express reports Mr. Osborne as claiming that Germany and France is part of the emerging consensus that Britain is making a reasonable case for change within the EU. He warned Brexit advocates that there are many unanswered questions should the UK leave the EU. This includes whether there is an alternative, whether there will be free movement of UK nationals within the EU and whether the UK will have to pay into the EU budget for market access.
In an interview with Newsnight at the BBC, Mr. Osborne said he was optimistic that a deal on EU reforms will be reached because the "essential pieces of the deal is falling into place". Ministers are hopeful that the European Council can reach a deal when it meets on February. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, indicated that a deal would be concluded during the February meeting, in which case the referendum will likely be held on June this year.
Others in the Conservative Party, however, are not so keen to campaign for a "Stay" vote. The House of Commons Tory leader, Chris Grayling, says that staying in the EU under current terms would be disastrous.