Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called on his UK counterpart to call a second referendum on Brexit, becoming the most prominent EU leader to push for British voters to have an opportunity to think again.
“If I was Theresa May, I would call a second referendum — no doubt,” Sánchez told POLITICO in an interview at La Moncloa, the government headquarters in Madrid. [...]
In the interview with POLITICO, Sánchez warned that no good would come from the U.K.’s departure — saying it would be painful for Britain and the EU.
“It’s true that we’re now on the verge of signing a transition deal,” he said, but “I’d like to see the British government calling a second referendum. I don’t mean now, but in the future, so that it can come back to the EU. In another way, but back into the EU.” [...]
The Spanish leader described the U.K. as a “marvelous country” which has exerted a “positive influence” on European politics, but has now taken a path of “self-absorption which isn’t going to be good either for the U.K. or for Europe.”
“I believe it’s a great loss for both and I hope it can be reconsidered in the future,” he said.
Spain will become the fourth-biggest country in the EU after Brexit. But the close relationship with the U.K. — the leading recipient of Spanish foreign investment and the source of nearly 19 million tourists to Spain last year — means Madrid faces the risk of a sizeable, negative economic impact from Britain’s departure. [...]
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