The Current

Brexit decision was 'based upon lies,' says voter who wants another referendum

We look at the latest twists and turns in the Brexit saga, as the British Labour party seeks an extension to the Brexit deadline, and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatens to call a general election.

British PM has threatened a general election if Oct. 31 departure from EU delayed

An anti-Brexit protester holds a sign during a demonstration in London in March. (Neil Hall/EPA-EFE)
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Britain should hold another referendum on Brexit because the public was lied to during the campaign three years ago, according to one voter.

"This momentous decision [is] based upon lies," said Richard Bourchier, a chartered surveyor who voted to remain in the European Union.

"We can't go over the precipice just because of a close vote three years ago, when the country didn't know what it was voting for," he told The Current's Laura Lynch.

"Now that we're in this position, and Parliament can't resolve it, then it should go back for another vote." 

A Vote Leave battle bus carrying a false message is parked outside the U.K. Parliament during the 2016 campaign. (Getty Images)

During the 2016 referendum, Leave campaigners claimed that Brexit would mean a weekly EU payment of £350 million could be spent on Britain's health care instead. The claim, printed on the side of a bus that shuttled campaigners around the country, was later acknowledged as false.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out any delay to Britain's departure from the EU on Oct. 31. He warned political rivals that if there was an attempt to block a no-deal exit, he could call an election as early as Oct. 14.

On Tuesday, Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats, ending the Conservative Party's working majority and leaving Johnson presiding over a minority government.

Boris Johnson has ruled out ever asking the European Union to delay Britain's departure from the bloc, making an implicit warning that he would be forced to call an election if British lawmakers tied his hands on Brexit. 2:02

Bourchier has voted Conservative in every election since he was eligible to vote, but gave up his membership following the prime minister's decision to prorogue Parliament. 

"The mess the country is in is because of Boris Johnson primarily. Throughout the referendum, he lied, and he's lying again now," Bouchier said. 

But Conservative voter John May said it's "a very empty argument" to suggest that "all those 17.4 million people were hoodwinked by liars, whereas the 16.2 million people who voted to remain knew exactly what they were doing."

Pro-Brexit May said he found it insulting that Leave voters "were stupid or misled."

"That is one of the main reasons we did vote to leave, was because we were sick and tired of being told by people that they knew better when it came to Europe."


Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Ines Colabrese, Marc Apollonio, Samira Mohyeddin and Ashley Mak

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