George Osborne Backs Second Referendum If Brexit Compromise Can't Be Found

3 May 2019, 07:33 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 07:59

George Osborne has told LBC that the Brexit deal should be put back to the people if a compromise cannot be found.

It is the first time that Mr Osborne, who was Chancellor at the time of the election, has backed a People's Vote.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he insisted that the 48% who voted Remain need to have their opinion respected as well.

Nick Ferrari was speaking to George Osborne
Nick Ferrari was speaking to George Osborne. Picture: LBC

He said: "You can leave in all sorts of ways and the referendum didn't resolve that. You can leave the EU and have nothing whatsoever to do with the likes of France and Germany or you can leave and have a very close relationship.

"Right from after the result, I was saying we should leave in a way that reflects that 17million people voted for Brexit, but 16million people voted to Remain. So let's leave, but have a very close relationship with the EU. Let's be in the things like the customs union and the single market.

"Personally, I think if that's the way the Brexiteers conducted themselves from the start, we would have left and the country would have started the healing process.

"But they tried to have everything, they tried to have 100% win even though they only got 52% of the vote. And the mistake of the Prime Minister and the government is to side with that view.

"As a result, the country wasn't having it so now we're forced to have the conversation about a compromised Brexit.

"If that can't be found, then we have to go back to the country, we have to have a second referendum."

Mr Osborne was criticised just before the first referendum, when he admitted to Iain Dale that the government did not have any plans for what to do if they lost the EU referendum.