Cutting the Gordian knot: EU citizens and Britons in Europe call for referendum on day of European elections

In a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition and EU Leaders, seven city chapters of civil rights group the New Europeans as well as British and EU citizens in the UK and across EU member states have called for a second referendum on the day of the European elections to break the Brexit deadlock.

Read and sign the letter here

Roger Casale, the former Labour MP and founder of New Europeans who drafted the letter, said:


 "We cannot stand the uncertainty any longer and the disruption to our lives and those of our friends, families, colleagues and others around Europe. It is now time to act"

The letter asks EU leaders to offer Britain a 3-month extension so that a new referendum can be held on 23 May, the day of the European elections.  

Crucially, the campaigners also call on the Labour party to sign off the Withdrawal Agreement but only once the extension of three months has been granted and the referendum has been agreed and the legislation passed to secure it. 

"It is time to cut the Gordian knot that is holding everything back," said Roger Casale the former Labour MP and founder of New Europeans who has proposed this way forward. 

"If that means signing the Withdrawal Agreement into law but with the certainty of a second referendum then that i what now needs to happen."

EU citizens have been promised guarantees of their rights in the UK if Britain leaves without a deal but the position of Britons in the EU in such circumstances is still uncertain.

"Drastic problems require drastic solutions - we cannot live in a perpetual state of uncertainty and the risks of allowing the UK to leave the EU with no deal are too great"  said Roger Casale,

"so use the fact that there will be elections on 23 May, if an extension is granted, to hold a referendum on the Withdrawal Agreement and break the impasse."

If there were an election on 23 May, and Britain voted to stay, Article 50 would be revoked, the Withdrawal Agreement would be null and void and British MEPs could take up their seats in the new European parliament on 2 July.

If Britain voted to leave , it would do so on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement - member states would add extra MEPs to replace the British ones based on the pre-agreed formula.


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