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Majority of Finnish MEPs believe in second UK vote on Brexit

Opponents of Britain's withdrawal from the EU are calling more loudly for another referendum on Brexit. Seven of Finland's 13 MEPs think a second vote is likely.

Brexitin vastainen lontoolainen nainen päässään baskeri jossa lukee " bollock to brexit".
Brexit opponents marched in London on 20 October. Image: Andres Pantoja / Getty Images
Yle News

Over half of Finland's 13 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) say they believe that a second British referendum on Brexit will become a reality.

The National Coalition Party's Sirpa Pietikäinen, Henna Virkkunen, Petri Sarvamaa, the Centre Party's Elsi Katainen, the Greens' Heidi Hautala, the Social Democratic Party's Liisa Jaakonsaari, and the Swedish People's Party's Nils Torvald all told the public broadcaster Yle that they believed in the possibility of a second vote. Yle was unable to reach Social Democratic MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri.

"I hope the British will have the opportunity to vote again on the basis of accurate information. Its citizens deserve to know what the split would really entail. During the vote in the summer of 2016, they made their decision on the basis of very incomplete or even false information," says MEP Henna Virkkunen.

Each of the seven Finnish MEPs supporting a second vote emphasize that the decision is ultimately in the Brits' own hands.

"It's not strange to vote twice on such a fundamental issue," says MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen.

Some of the MEPs who believe in a second vote think that first referendum on Brexit was hardly a textbook example.

"There are starting to be indications that the referendum result was influenced by dishonest means," says MEP Heidi Hautala.

Five MEPs are not sure

The Left Alliance's Merja Kyllönen, the Finns Party's Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner and Jussi Halla-aho, and the Centre Party's Mirja Vehkaperä and Anneli Jäätteenmäki are the five Finnish MEPs that don't believe a second vote will take place.

MEP and Finns Party Chair Hallo-aho says it is more likely that the Brits will leave the European Union with a "minimum deal" or no deal at all.

"I don't think that there will be another vote on Britain leaving the union. The Brits will probably lose their special status on immigration and membership in the Schengen Area," he says.

Although the Left Alliance's Merja Kyllönen says she would rather Britain stay in the EU, it is not likely to happen.

"I've got a feeling that the train has already left the station. This can't be reversed quickly because the country is conservative. Their internal politics would be thrown into havoc if the tables were suddenly turned," she says.

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