Vladimir Putin has said the UK should not hold a second referendum on Brexit, insisting Theresa May must “fulfil the will of the people”.
Offering public support that the embattled British prime minister may rather do without, Putin said he “understood” May’s position in “fighting for this Brexit”.
“The referendum was held,” the Russian president said from Moscow during a press conference shown on national television. “What can she do? She has to fulfil the will of the people expressed in the referendum.”
Russia is seen as a possible beneficiary of the UK’s exit from the EU, and a prominent financial backer of the leave campaign met Russian embassy officials repeatedly during the run-up to the referendum in June 2016.
Putin went on to criticise the idea of a second referendum or “people’s vote”, which could offer the possibility of Britain staying in the EU. A no-deal Brexit has become significantly more likely, with May’s deal expected to be rejected by the UK parliament. [Continue reading…]