Theresa May says second Brexit referendum would be 'betrayal'

Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to stand firm on her Chequers deal Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May has insisted she will not be pushed around by Brussels as Brexit negotiations heat up as EU withdrawal nears - and again ruled out holding a second referendum.

The Prime Minister stood by the Government’s controversial Chequers exit plan despite continued sniping against it from Tory benches.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mrs May said: “I will not be pushed into accepting compromises on the Chequers proposals that are not in our national interest.”

The comments came as it was reported that the election strategist who helped Boris Johnson win the London mayoralty was involved in a bid to scupper the Cabinet’s Chequers compromise.

Sir Lynton Crosby, who also advised Mrs May in last year’s general election when the Tories lost their majority in a shock poll result, is manoeuvring to derail the PM’s EU withdrawal agenda with a co-ordinated national campaign, according to the Sunday Times.

The claims emerged as former minister and high-profile Tory MP Nick Boles, who backed Remain at the referendum, came out against the Chequers deal.

He told the Sunday Telegraph that under current Government plans, the UK faces “the humiliation of a deal dictated by Brussels”, which is treating the Chequers proposals as an “opening bid”.

The PM dismissed calls for a “people’s vote” on the terms of withdrawal.

She said: “To ask the question all over again would be a gross betrayal of our democracy.”

Mrs May also said Britain would get through a no-deal outcome and “thrive”.

The PM’s aides have held talks with senior civil servants about whether to call a general election if a Brexit deal is rejected by MPs, according to the Sunday Times.