On a Vote

It has been said that: “The UK electorate is split down the middle, but another vote would make things worse”.  Frankly, that’s not a good argument given the traditionally adversarial nature of UK politics.  You might even say that our whole British political system aims at dividing everyone into one of two camps.

What do I remember about Parliament and the House of Commons? The distance between Government Party and Opposition Party benches is two swords length.  So, don’t give me any of that nonsense about division.  Sure, I’d prefer a more consensual approach to National decision-making but that is not what we have in the UK.

The UK referendum of 1975 was so much easier in that it created a clear winner and a clear looser.  Unfortunately, after so much confusion, muddle and downright lying the 2016 referendum must go done in history as the worst exercise in democracy any Country has engaged in modern times.

Are we just to leave it there and let the British frog[1] be boiled slowly?  Or are we to say – no, enough is enough and act?  I believe, another national referendum is needed to either confirm the decision to leave or to remain a European Union Member State.  Its true there are other ways to move forward and it is a matter of our sovereign Parliament.  Will they or won’t they go for a referendum on the deal?

Let’s consider the three conditions: no referendum, referendum supporting Leave and referendum supporting Remain.

The first case just leaves the sharp divide in place and the frog gets boiled, to use that metaphor again.   However, there’s plenty of potential for a further crisis and the need for a snap General Election.  Nobody gets what they want.

In the second case, where say; in an Autumn referendum the outcome confirms the leave vote, the direction of travel continues but with a lot more resolve.

In the third case, where say; in an Autumn referendum the outcome calls for a correction of direction it can be done without too much pain.

Those who fear a referendum on the deal should think about what’s in the best interests of the whole Country.  Ironically, it’s the period we are passing through that has given most voters a much better understanding of the nature of European Union membership. More than they ever had before 2016.  Knowing what’s at stake and voting accordingly, the result would stick for a good long time.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog

 

One thought on “On a Vote

  1. rogerjhardy April 22, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    I agree but neither the Tories nor Labour seem committed to even considering the idea so I feel that there is little stomach for a second referendum in Westminster, however good the arguments in favour of it. However, I’m hoping that the local elections on May 3 will be a slap in the face for the government and might prompt a rethink. Fingers crossed!

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