The idea of a second Brexit referendum is very likely to be voted again in Westminster although the government remains opposed to the second plebiscite on the same issue of leaving the European Union, the British finance minister said.
“I remain optimistic that over the next couple of months we will get a deal done,” he told reporters in Washington where he is attending meetings at the International Monetary Fund.
Philip Hammond said he hoped parliament would break the Brexit deadlock by passing a deal by the end of June, potentially ending the calls for a new referendum, and there was a “good chance” of a breakthrough in talks with the opposition Labour Party.
“The referendum is of great political significance, but the Act of Parliament which established it did not say what should happen as a result,” said David Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court which ruled by 8-3 against the government.
“So any change in the law to give effect to the referendum must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely by an Act of Parliament.”
May has repeatedly said she would trigger Article 50 before the end of March but she will now have to seek the consent of lawmakers first, potentially meaning her plans could be amended or delayed, although the main opposition Labour Party has said it would not slow her timetable.