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Foster and Chipperfield back ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit


Norman Foster and David Chipperfield have signed a letter from business leaders calling for a second referendum over whether the UK should leave the EU.

The top architects were among more than 170 captains of industry putting their names to an open letter to The Times backing a so-called people’s vote over Brexit.

Published yesterday (Thursday 17 January), the letter comes in the wake of a crushing Commons defeat for prime minister Theresa May’s proposed deal with Brussels.

With just over two months until the UK is due to leave, the business leaders said the priority now had to be avoiding ‘crashing out of the EU with no deal at all’.

Their letter added: ‘The only viable way to do this is by asking the people whether they still want to leave the EU.

‘With the clock now ticking rapidly before we are due to quit, politicians must not waste any more time on fantasies. We urge the leadership of both the main parties to support a people’s vote.’

The RIBA this week called for an extension of the Article 50 exit procedure in the wake of May’s Commons defeat.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Amazing! Mssrs Foster and Chipperfield and the other signatories to yesterday’s letter in the Times are the most imaginative and intelligent members of the architectural and business community, but they are showing no imagination or intelligence! Staying half in and half out of the EU, delaying and possibly denying Brexit with another Referendum shows no vision of a better future, or entrepreneurial ambition?! The EU has held Britain and Europe back for long enough, and helped to keep Africa and South America poor with restrictive trade deals to protect themselves and their introverted businesses. And Britain is holding Europe back. Without us in the way Europe can sort out it’s half baked currency, have their own armed forces to defend their Eastern borders, and release our armed forces to help in the world’s troubled areas.

    The world has other more important problems for us to concentrate on. Global warming, lack of resources and food, mental health, funding the NHS, inadequate housing in this country and worldwide.

    Leave the EU at the end of March after having put in place the required trade deals and laws. Stop subsidising the EU and Ulster, start thinking about the future? We will still be Europeans, but with a world view again. Jeremy Corbyn might even fulfill his dream of a United Eire!

    PS As I’ve said before, read “Britain’s Europe” by Brendan Simms and “Sapiens” by Yuval Harare. Get some cojones. This is a great country, and we need to keep it that way, and be an inspiration for the rest of the world struggling towards democracy and a fairer society.

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  • David Farmery - Subsidise Ulster a region of the UK really? I am by no means a DUP supporter but your comments show a complete lack of understanding of Northern Irish politics and Ireland & Scotland’s cultural affinity with Europe. You’re essentially advocating the break-up of the United Kingdom, all in the pursuit of free trade. Not with our nearest partners but with global unknowns at the end of a Brexit rainbow.

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  • I actually know quite a lot about Irish politics. My wife is from Belfast and I’ve spent many happy days in the Province. We pay more to N Ireland than we do to the EU! The Protestants of Ulster are fine people, and they have supported us, at great cost, in 2 world wars, and have had to endure the Troubles, again at great cost. The other side has suffered too, but it’s time for a real resolution and Peace. Ironically Eire shares our values more than the DUP! Abortion? Gay marriage? Both sides will have to make concessions, but a United Ireland is as possible as a clean break from the EU. An end to the Irish “problem” and us out of the EU. Imagine that. All we have to do then is resolve the Scottish and Welsh situations. The LBW laws? The antiquated WTO rules? And decrimilise drugs to stop knife crime while we are in a radical reforming mood.

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