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17th Feb 2018

Theresa May has some bad news for those hoping for a second Brexit referendum

Kate Demolder

Prime Minister Theresa May has officially ruled out a second referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union, stating there was no going back on the result of the June 2016 vote.

May told the Munich Security Conference: “We are leaving the EU and there is no question of a second referendum or going back and I think that’s important,”

Upon being asked if Britain would consider the idea of a second vote, the Prime Minister responded: “People in the UK feel very strongly that if we take a decision, then governments should not turn around and say no you got that wrong.”

Mrs May was speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday morning, where she also called for a new security treaty with the EU that should be up and running by 2019. The objective for this new treaty is to ensure military, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation after London leaves the bloc.

“The key aspects of our future partnership in this area will already be effective from 2019,” she said.

She added: “The partnership that we need to create is one that offers UK and EU way to combine our efforts to greatest effect where this is in our shared interest.”

Mrs May also spoke of the importance of security matters for both the EU and the UK upon the introduction of Brexit, warning the EU of “damaging real-world consequences” if issues arise over the institutional arrangements Britain will have with the EU after it leaves.

“We must do whatever is most practical and pragmatic in ensuring our collective security,” she said.

“This cannot be a time when any of us allow competition between partners, rigid institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology to inhibit our co-operation and jeopardize the security of our citizens.”

She warned “nothing must get in the way” of Britain and the EU “helping each other in every hour of every day to keep our people safe”.

“Those who threaten our security would like nothing more than to see us fractured,” Mrs May added.

“They would like nothing more than to see us put debates about mechanisms and means ahead of doing what is most practical and effective in keeping our people safe.

“So let our message ring out loud and clear today: we will not let that happen. We will keep our people safe, now and in the years to come.”