Brexit: Paul Arkwright Dismisses Possibility Of Second Referendum
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has dismissed the chances of holding another referendum that may reconsider Britain’s decision to exit from the European Union, insisting that the nation has to look forward.
Mr Arkwright told Channels Television on Wednesday that the outcome of the referendum was clear.
Over 33 million people in the United Kingdom had voted in the June 24 referendum on whether to exit from the European Union or not.
“Massive Exercise In Democracy”
While 51.9 per cent voted to leave 48.1 per cent voted to remain. After the decision, a group of persons have been pushing a campaign for a second referendum, but the British High Commissioner insisted that Britons had made a choice.
“I don’t think there will be a second referendum. This is a once in a generation opportunity for the United Kingdom to vote on this huge issue.
“Those that think it was a mistake must be part of the 48 per cent that voted to remain in the EU.
“I think we need to look forward.
“It was a massive exercise in democracy.
“That is a very significant number and the outcome is pretty clear,” he explained.
On why the decision was made, he said different people have different reasons for voting to leave.
“A lot of the people felt two much sovereignty has been conceded to the European Union.
“There were concerns around control of the borders. Immigration was one of the big issues that came up.
“That is a very clear instruction that the British government will carry out and like any good civil servant, that is part of my job as well,” he explained.
On the next step that would be taken, Mr Arkwright said the British government would need to work out the complicated negotiations which would involve a ‘divorce settlement’ between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“We need a new Prime Minister because Mr Cameron has resigned. Once the new Prime Minister is in place, then the process will start and the button will be pressed and the article 50 will get into place.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria further stressed that the fundamentals of the UK were still there. “The economy is still strong. We are still very much an international player. A permanent member of the Security Council and lots of other international organisation.
“I don’t think that the standing of the UK has been diminished by this thought. But I think it shows that we an an independent nation and that is the choice of the people,” he stressed.
Article 50 will trigger a process that could last up to two years, a period he said the status quo would be maintained.
“We will remain a member of the European Union. All the rights and obligations as a member of the EU will remain and all those that have the right to study in the UK will remain. But what happens after that will depend on the type of relationship the kind of negotiations that will take place in the next two years,” he stated.
Mr Arkwright also pointed out that businesses would continue as they had in the UK and that the fundamentals of the British economy were still there.
“Britain remains open for business and there are plenty opportunities of doing business in the UK and the British government will maintain the excellent business environment which has enabled businesses to do well so far in the UK,” he reiterated.