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UK opponents of Brexit seek to form new political party

Opponents of Britain’s departure from the European Union have expressed interest in the idea of forming a centrist party aimed at blocking Brexit.

James Chapman, a former top aide to Brexit Secretary David Davis, is calling for a new centrist political party since both the governing Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party say they will go through with the decision to departure from the 28-nation bloc.

Chapman said that two members of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet have contacted him to express support.

“Two people in the cabinet, a number of people who have been in Conservative cabinets before now – better cabinets, I might say, than the current one – and a number of shadow cabinets ministers have also been in touch.

“They are not saying they are going to quit their parties, but they are saying they understand that there is an enormous gap in the centre now of British politics,” he said Friday.

He added, “There is an enormous gap in the center now of British politics” that could be filled by an anti-Brexit force.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has also called for pro-EU politicians from all parties to unite.

Earlier this week, Chapman who was chief of staff to Davis until June, tweeted that “Brexit is a catastrophe” and called on “sensible” lawmakers to reverse it, suggesting that the new party should be called the Democrats.

Meanwhile, many politicians say Britons democratically voted to leave the bloc and it would be wrong to override the decision.

Leading Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg said, “Most people in the higher levels of the party, and across the Conservative party in the nation, have accepted the democratic result of the referendum a year ago.”

“What’s so peculiar about this new party is that it wants to call itself the Democrats and the first thing it wishes to do is to overturn a democratic decision. Their proposed name ought to be the Oligarchs rather than the Democrats.”

The UK is currently due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019 after nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the EU referendum in June last year.

The United Kingdom formally triggered the Brexit process on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.

During their second round of talks held in July, the EU and UK Brexit teams failed to reach an agreement on 22 of the 44 issues under negotiation.

EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in the beginning of Brexit talks in Brussels, Belgium, last month that the negotiations were “very unlikely” to succeed if the two sides could not make better progress, noting that the two sides still had “fundamental” differences over Britain’s exit bill and over the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

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