The UK should renegotiate the terms of its European Union membership with the bloc instead of leaving it, according to a prominent Remain campaigner.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Gina Miller said she thinks the UK should ditch Prime Minister Theresa May’s already-defeated Brexit deal and remain an EU member.
Miller’s remarks came on a day May received the support of the majority of lawmakers over an amendment that gives her government a mandate to remove the “Irish backstop” clause from the withdrawal agreement and to negotiate “alternative arrangements” with the EU to avoid a hard border in the island of Ireland.
Miller, who is famous for a legal victory she won against the government in the aftermath of the June 2016 EU membership referendum, says the “parliament is sovereign” in the UK and she took the government to court and won in a “momentous case”.
In the court case she brought against the government, Miller argued that Article 50, which sets out the conditions for leaving the EU, could not be triggered by the government without the approval of the “sovereign” parliament and she won. As a result, MPs in the House of Commons have had a stronger voice and vote over Brexit legislation.
Speaking briefly before the House of Commons voted on a series of amendments, Miller said some of the amendments are telling the prime minister to start the negotiations again, hinting at an amendment proposed by Conservative MP Graham Brady that later gave May a mandate to pull the controversial Northern Irish backstop from her deal.
“The EU have said time and time again that they are not going to do that,” Miller said.
“So if this is a total impasse, my suggestion to the parliament is that you have had two and a half years, you have got total chaos, but you want this deal to be renegotiated.
Why not renegotiate the deal we already have?
“Why don’t we stay and ask to renegotiate the special deal we have…and let’s say: Let’s lead rather than leave. That’s what I am proposing and fighting for at the moment.”
Miller said if the UK remains in the bloc, a new deal should tackle the issues of immigration, sovereignty and more transparency about finances with the EU.
“If those are addressed, we…would be remaining on very different terms,” she said.
“The EU has been shocked by Brexit.
“The EU is shocked by what’s happening in other countries across the EU…and they are ready to listen.”
Lead not leave
Explaining a new initiative by herself together with Lord Maurice Saatchi and Baroness Helena Kennedy, Miller said one of her greatest concerns is the country, as it is “very split”.
‘Lead Not Leave’ describes itself as “a major new initiative calling on the UK to take a leading role to deliver wide-ranging EU reform”.
“Following the 2016 Referendum, the United Kingdom is facing the worst constitutional and political crisis since the Second World War,” a press statement from Saatchi, Miller and Kennedy said earlier this week.
“There is now an opportunity for innovative thinking to end the chaos, and a growing recognition of the need to do so, with a solution that respects the needs of everyone in the United Kingdom.
“This is about reframing the debate, thinking long term and maximizing our nation’s capacity for common sense, pragmatism and leadership.”
Miller also talked about various death threats she has received since she was seen by many Brexiteers as one of the main figures who created the chaos surrounding Brexit by winning a major case against the government.
“I live a very different life than I did two and a half years ago,” she said.
She said she is now looked after by a “terrorism squad” and her entire family is threatened.
According to recent reports by local media, a member of the populist and xenophobic UK Independence Party (UKIP) said Miller should have her head cut off and left outside Buckingham Palace.
“Everything has changed. But actually, rather than deterring me, it has shown me that I need to fight, because those voices must not become Britain,” Miller said.
“We are not that country. I am going to fight for the Britain I love.”
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