Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has made the already complicated Brexit situation even more confusing by hinting at a second referendum to decide whether Britain will officially leave the European Union, just three days after Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed the idea for a second time. The city’s leader, also a Labour member, says that the party’s next manifesto may include a pledge to allow British citizens to re-evaluate the choice they made back in June of 2016.
Sadiq Khan spoke with The London Evening Standard, confirming speculation that shadow cabinet members have refused to rule out such a possibility. If the public chooses once again to leave the EU, the terms of an exit deal will be explained to them in order for the government to remain transparent in their plans and to ensure voters are kept informed of exactly what a full departure would mean for Britain. Should the majority vote to remain this time around, the mayor would look to Prime Minister Theresa May to respect these people’s wishes and halt all current Brexit talks.
In the interview, Sadiq Khan goes on to express his opinion that, at the current time, no proposed Brexit deals have come forth that would be good enough to accept without first offering a second referendum. He then admits that he does not see anything potentially ground-breaking coming through anytime soon, given how slow the process has been thus far and the seemingly unending roadblocks being faced in terms of issues like the single market, immigration, the price of the divorce bill, and so on. The mayor himself has made it clear he feels Britain should remain in the single market when the two-year transition period ends, whereas Jeremy Corbyn wishes to stay out as he feels it will yield better results in terms of industry nationalization as well as limit state intervention.
The London mayor’s suggestion of a second Brexit referendum has done nothing to qualm the chaos that has been ensuing inside the Labour Party for the better part of a year. Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been facing extreme scrutiny since April due to his lack of a concrete stance on the matter, having changed his mind from an original standpoint in which he rallied for the public to be able to vote on the matter once more, to completely shutting down such an idea a few months later.
At the current point in time, the 68-year-old is refusing to discuss the topic at all, with the issue not having made the cut for debate at this year’s Labour Party Conference. Earlier Tuesday, The Guardian gave further detail to Jeremy Corbyn’s view on the matter; the Labour leader admitted that, despite his original reservation on the idea, Brexit does, in fact, have “some positives” and as such he will definitely not be looking at a second referendum.
Sadiq Khan has certainly been facing his fair share of problems as Mayor of London. Not only is he caught in the middle of the Brexit dilemma, there is also the rampant issue of terrorism plaguing the country, as well as the violent domestic acts being committed primarily in east London as of late. The most recent terrorist attack was that of the Parsons Green explosion, which took place on September 15. Although 30 were injured, there were, fortunately, no fatalities. As for the crimes taking place inside the city; over the past year, acid attacks have doubled in the UK, with most occurring in England’s capital. It was merely three days ago that a 15-year-old wounded six people by spraying them with a corrosive liquid believed to be acid, putting three of his victims in the hospital. The most recent attack, reveals The Sun, was earlier today when a 26-year-old man threw acid in another’s face after fighting over “hippy crack” outside an east London bar. The incident, which has resulted in the victim being potentially blinded for life, was caught on CCTV.
The rate of acid attacks is increasing at an alarming rate, similar to that of knife crime in the city over the past few years, which hit an epidemic in 2015 and 2016, failing to slow down even as 2018 approaches. Sadiq Khan is under extreme pressure to crack down on this horrifying new trend of violence, with the recent Brexit drama adding even more stress to his workload.
[Featured Image by Matt Dunham/AP Images]