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MAYOR Andy Burn­ham has warned that a sec­ond vote on Brexit could cause ‘real un­rest on the streets of Greater Manch­ester’ - but said he would back it if all other op­tions were ex­hausted.

Speak­ing ahead of an event in West­min­ster, Mr Burn­ham called for the Brexit process to be post­poned be­cause of the risk of ‘crash­ing out’ of the EU with­out a deal.

He said that if post­pon­ing it wasn’t pos­si­ble, we should ‘con­sider hold­ing a sec­ond vote’, de­spite his ‘real con­cerns’ about it.

“I have real con­cerns about a sec­ond vote”, he said. “It would cause real un­rest on the streets of Greater Manch­ester… But there is some­thing worse than hav­ing an­other vote and that is crash­ing out of the Euro­pean Union with­out a deal.

“So, as a last re­sort, when ev­ery­thing else has failed, when we have tried to ex­tend Ar­ti­cle 50 to get more time, then and only then should we con­sider hold­ing a sec­ond vote.”

Mr Burn­ham said at his West­min­ster ad­dress that a no-deal Brexit ‘would be a dis­as­ter’ for Greater Manch­ester.

“The shock to our econ­omy and pub­lic ser­vices would be huge,” he said.

“We are look­ing at dou­ble-digit dam­age to our econ­omy and dis­rup­tion to es­sen­tial ser­vices.

“I be­lieve we need to build in Greater Manch­ester a broad, cross-party cam­paign against no deal with the aim of stop­ping it at all costs.

“As soon as it be­comes clear that the MPs against a no deal out­come can­not unite around a plan, I would urge all Greater Manch­ester MPs to sup- port a call on the EU for an ex­ten­sion of Ar­ti­cle 50 be­yond the March dead­line as the next way of stop­ping no deal.

“If that fails and we are left on the cliff edge of no deal with no other op­tions, then, and only then, would I en­dorse the call for a peo­ple’s vote on the pro­posed no deal de­par­ture and en­cour­age our MPs to do the same.”

On Sun­day, John Leech, the leader of the Lib Dem op­po­si­tion on Manch­ester coun­cil and the for­mer MP for Withing­ton, said Brexit would be dev­as­tat­ing, and called for a ‘Peo­ple’s Vote’ that would give the pub­lic a ‘fi­nal say’ on Brexit.

Andy Burn­ham

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