Tag Archives: referendum on deal

Second Referendum? When was the first one?

If there was a referendum asking voters to choose between continued membership of the EU under the current agreement, or with a settled deal between Britain and the EU after we’ve left, then I must have been on holiday when it took place!

On the 23rd of June 2016 there was a referendum and people voted for something – that much we know.

After a campaign that was described as having “glaring democratic deficiencies” by the Electoral Reform Society, people voted to leave the European Union.  They did so for a variety of reasons.  Some thought it would reduce immigration, others believed they would get more money for the NHS, and some did so based on vague and indefinable notions of sovereignty.

Everyone voted in good faith. It’s wrong to accuse Leave voters of not knowing what they were voting for, or not understanding what they were doing – everyone makes decisions based on how they interpret their own reality.

However nobody can possibly predict the consequences that will now ensue because of this decision.

A referendum on the final Brexit deal is essential.

This wouldn’t be a ‘second ‘referendum because there never was a first referendum on a negotiated deal.

In order for people to vote sensibly in a binary referendum then, surely – with an urgent appeal to common sense – you have to give them two options that can be directly compared and scrutinised against each other.  The 2016 vote failed to do this.  It was a campaign of sentiment not fact: a saga presented as zealous nationalism VS apocalyptic defeatism (‘Project Fear’), and zealous nationalism brought them out to princely turnout sum of 72.2% and won the day.

Brexit is likely but it is not inevitable.  Public opinion could change everything.

So far there is a growing trend where people think it was wrong to leave the EU. This is happening because as the negations proceed, it becomes apparent that untangling ourselves from the a union we’ve been a part of for decades is a lot more complicated than what was sold to us in the campaign.   

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 39 Comments

The Observer agrees with us on a referendum on the Brexit deal

Well, well! The Observer has started agreeing with us again. Here’s what it had to say on this coming week’s Article 50 Bill amendments:

Any MP planning to vote against the amendments to the bill that seek to ensure this – whether or not they supported Brexit – should reflect long and hard on precisely what they think parliament is for, if not to scrutinise the government on this most momentous of decisions. Second, the British people must have the opportunity to accept or reject the deal negotiated by the government. The referendum result provided a democratic mandate for Britain to leave the EU; it did not give permission to the prime minister to negotiate any deal she sees fit.

Voters may choose to ratify the government’s deal in a second referendum or, faced with a concrete set of terms for Britain’s exit, they may choose to reject the deal and deliver a mandate for the government to seek to try to remain in the EU. But the final say should rest with them.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 44 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Blake 24th Jun - 11:42am
    Sad about Skipton & Ripon. The boundaries were probably different, but of course we almost won Skipton some years ago with the wonderful Claire Brookes...
  • User AvatarChris Bertram 24th Jun - 11:35am
    Geoffrey Payne: "we only stood down in Brighton Pavillion in last year’s general election." Nope, the electors of Skipton and Ripon were also denied the...
  • User AvatarTeejay 24th Jun - 11:31am
    The Government spent 9.3 million pounds to put a leaflet through every letterbox. Under the heading "A once in a generation decision", the leaflet said...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th Jun - 11:05am
    @ Frankie, "So Peter your preferred Brexit is a soft one" When I was at school, we had what used to be called comprehension tests....
  • User AvatarMary Reid 24th Jun - 11:00am
    You need to acknowledge that the Greens were not 100% behind the arrangement for the Richmond Park by-election. Four of the wards in the constituency...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 24th Jun - 10:59am
    @ Tim Hill " 9 votes by a paper candidate contributes 9 votes more to a national tally". You forgot the bit about reducing the...