Russian President Vladimir Putin said British Prime Minister Theresa May must “fulfill the will of the people” and said Britain should not hold a second referendum on Brexit that would potentially allow Britain to remain part of the European Union.
“The referendum was held,” Putin said in Moscow during his annual press conference, per the Guardian. “What can she do? She has to fulfill the will of the people expressed in the referendum.”
“Was it not a referendum?” he said. “Someone disliked the result, so repeat it over and over? Is this democracy? What then would be the point of the referendum in the first place?”
Britain is slated to depart the EU on March 29. May revealed this week that she would postpone a parliamentary vote on her Brexit proposal to the week of Jan. 14, and she has opposed efforts to hold a second referendum on Brexit.
“Let us not break faith with the British people by trying to stage another referendum, another vote, which would do irreparable damage to our politics. Because, it would say to millions who trusted in our democracy that our democracy does not deliver,” May said.
May has faced criticism from other leaders including Labour Party and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has blamed May for directing Britain into a “national crisis.” But May has maintained that failing to back her “compromise” deal will potentially mean Britain will leave the EU without a deal.
“I know this is not everyone’s perfect deal. It is a compromise,” May said. “But if we let the perfect be the enemy of the good, we risk leaving the EU with no deal.”