Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez has supported the idea of a second Brexit referendum. In an interview with Politico, he said: "if I was May, I would call a second referendum".
With this comment he joins the prime ministers of Malta and the Czech Republic, Joseph Muscat and Andrej Babiš, in supporting the idea, a contentious question within the UK. Sánchez clarified, however, "I don't mean now, but in the future", with a view to the UK rejoining the union after Brexit. On Brexit itself, he warned that it will be painful for both the UK and the EU.
He also criticised the first vote, saying it was not "democratic" to have decided to leave the EU after the 2016 vote gave less than 52% support for the idea. He added that "all these kinds of referendums do is fragment … and polarise societies".
Brexit yes, independence no
Ben Emmerson, a British lawyer representing some of the pro-independence leaders charged over their roles in last year's Catalan referendum, tweeted about the interview. He asked how he can justify calling for a second referendum on Brexit whilst opposing a second referendum on Catalan independence.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez urges Teresa May to hold a second referendum on Brexit. So how can he justify opposing a second referendum on independence for Catalonia? Why does he sit on hands whilst the true Catalan democrats are imprisoned? #ShameOnSpain https://t.co/hsSeytb5Bc— Ben Emmerson (@BenEmmerson1) November 12, 2018