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Prime minister opens meeting on potential Brexit effects

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May has firmly rejected the notion of a second referendum on the country's membership in the European Union, insisting Wednesday that the U.K. wouldn't attempt a back-handed effort to remain in the bloc.

May underscored her position before chairing a Cabinet meeting at her country retreat, Chequers. She seemed intent before the session —her first since returning from summer vacation — to squelch rumors that the government might be seeking a retreat from the results of the June 23 referendum.

“We must continue to be very clear that ‘Brexit means Brexit,’ that we're going to make a success of it,” she said. “That means there's no second referendum; no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door; that we're actually going to deliver on this.”

The meeting at the Chequers retreat comes amid reports of feuding among the three ministers tasked with making the break from the EU a reality.

“This really is a very significant moment for the country, as we look ahead to the next steps that we need to take,” May said before the meeting. “We have the opportunity to forge a new positive role for the U.K. in the world.”

The session also comes after her office sidestepped questions on whether Parliament will be given a formal vote on triggering Article 50, the EU treaty clause that sets up Britain's departure from the 28-nation bloc.

Downing Street has said lawmakers will be given “a say,” but adds there's “no legal obligation” to consult Parliament.



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