October 31, 2018

Brexit latest: Hunt casts Britain as democratic protector, while Osborne shows Brexit remorse

By Lucy Ingham

In the Brexit latest, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has cast Britain as the protector of the world’s democratic values.

In a speech entitled Britain’s role in the world after Brexit, Hunt argued that Britain had a responsibility to protect democracy globally in the post-Brexit era.

“Our network of friendships is unparalleled. But they are underpinned by something more than shared history, shared language or shared culture,” he said.

“They are underpinned by the values – democracy, the rule of law, the separation of powers, respect for individual civil and political rights, a belief in free trade – that bind us. When these values are under threat, Britain’s role – indeed obligation – is to defend them. Which is why to do so, we must become an invisible chain linking the world’s democracies.”

George Osborne expresses remorse over Brexit

Meanwhile, the former chancellor George Osborne has expressed regret over how the Brexit vote was handled.

In an interview on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Osborne said that the way the Remain campaign was handled was poor.

“We were wrong to play into the debate that everything that Brussels did was a challenge and a battle and was wrong,” he said.

He also blamed the government’s immigration targets for helping to deliver a Leave vote, admitting that they were undeliverable.

“On immigration we were promising targets that we couldn’t deliver and that then led to a debate about how you might deliver those targets – not that I see any evidence that they’re going to be delivered in the future – but, you know, we definitely contributed to that argument, didn’t make enough of the value of immigration,” he added.

Theresa May rejects second referendum in Brexit latest

In other Brexit news, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected the idea of a second referendum, despite 700,000 people attending a protest on the subject, and a further 100,000 calling on the government to scrap Brexit in the event of a no-deal.

Speaking during a summit in Oslo, Norway, May reiterated that there would not be a second referendum.

“There will be no second referendum on Brexit,” she said, adding that there would also not be a further general election.

“We are not preparing for another general election. That would not be in the national interest.”

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