The Daily Express: Brexiteer Gisela Stuart reveals real lessons of 2016 referendum for British voting

Gisela Stuart reveals the most fundamental lesson parliamentarians should learn from the disastrous 2016 Brexit referendum, while advocating for a Bill which could prevent Britain falling into a real constitutional crisis, in an exclusive interview with

By Martina Bet

24 August 2019

Last month, Boris Johnson was elected as new Prime Minister on the promise to deliver Brexit and unite the country, but things do not appear to be going very smooth for the former Mayor of London.

There is a majority against no deal in Parliament, and the European Union has many times stated it will not renegotiate a new withdrawal agreement.

With few options left for the news Prime Minister to explore, former Labour MP and ex-chairman of Vote Leave Gisela Stuart brilliantly explained to the most fundamental lesson parliamentarians should learn from the disastrous 2016 Brexit referendum.

She said: “I think what the 2016 referendum told us is that parliamentarians have to think very carefully about how to frame the conditions of a referendum.

“There are so many options out there.

“I was born in Germany, in Bavaria.

“They actually have three very distinct forms of referendums there.

“One which just gives an opinion.

“The other one which gives instruction, and the other which is seen as consultative.”

Ms Stuart is now campaigning alongside other high-profile politicians in the Constitution Reform Group (CRG) for the Act of Union bill – a ready-made blue print which aims to “rebalance and stabilise the constitutional relationships between the four nations of the United Kingdom”.

The bill sets out a new constitutional framework for the UK which includes provisions for English devolution, subject to a “commencement referendum” in all four parts of the state.

When asked how they will approach a referendum if the Bill will go through the House of Commons, Ms Stuart explained: “What we opted for was two locks.

“The first of all is that you needed a threshold, so it had to be a clear majority of 65 percent.

“But it also then had to be in all 4 component parts.

“Referendums need to be carefully thought through and we have learnt from the 2016 referendum is that next time round we should help them to be a bit more thoughtful.”

The Act of Union Bill is currently awaiting its second reading.

In the meantime, the cross-party group is developing and expanding the clauses within the Bill and welcoming feedback from those interested in contributing.

You can access the full article here.

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