Second Brexit poll vital

The precipice of a no-deal Brexit looms ever closer. 

The ruling Conservative Party and the Cabinet are split every which way, and  Labour, the main opposition, continues to peddle the fantasy that a better deal to leave the European Union is possible.

Prime Minister Theresa May is humiliated  and next to nobody wants her EU deal, a phoney Brexit in the eyes of hardliners and the worst of both worlds in the view of others.  The approval rating for how Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is handling Brexit, meanwhile, is much worse than even Mrs May’s.

The public, in the face of all this, are confused, exasperated and concerned.  Mrs May and the Conservatives are not up to the job, and neither is Labour.  Brexit dominates public discourse as Britain blunders on.

In such an impossible position, calls grow for a second referendum.  And, despite the difficulties a second poll poses, that is what should occur.

Reports at the weekend suggested  Mrs May’s team was warming to the idea. But a statement from her office  said "we cannot ... abdicate responsibility for this decision".

One claim from the leadership is that a further referendum would divide the country and another is that it would threaten faith in democracy.

It must be remembered how badly tainted the first vote was.  Pro-Brexiters blatantly lied about the EU, made totally unrealistic promises and Facebook information was stolen and used to play up xenophobia.  This went well beyond the expected rough and tumble, exaggerations and obfuscations of normal politics.

It is true another vote would be complex and demanding.  It would take months to have everything in place and just what questions would be asked and how votes would be counted could be a tall order.  A looming EU election in May could also complicate matters.  There are legitimate fears, too, that another poll would provide an excuse for rioting and disorder.

As well, an indecisive majority either way would  leave matters unsettled.  Would there then be a call for a third vote?  "Neverendum" perhaps, as some are calling it.

At least, the act of Brexiting would be able to be suspended.  Britain, it has been established, does not need EU approval to call off its foolishness.

As it is,  leave day on March 29 looms fast.

Much more effort will have to go towards what happens if, as seems increasing a likely option,  Britain crashes out of the EU.  Most mainstream analysts see this as dire.

As that day approaches,  one  possibility is that Mrs May’s unsatisfactory Brexit deal will win enough support across Parliament in desperation votes to avoid the disastrous no deal at all scenario.

Far better than going to this brink and perhaps over it is to give the British people the chance to reverse their mistake.  The stakes are towering, and this is what needs to happen.

Comments

"Rectify their mistake". The EU is a political project and fairly open discussions going on about closer integration, Federal Government, United States of Europe and two speed Europe. Last time round the Remain campaign used "Project Fear" to scare the electorate into staying in but it didn't work. People voted out in full knowledge of what is at stake.

Tainted vote
That includes many countries.

This is a shabby principle of 'keep doing it until you get it right'.

 

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