A second referendum would be a good decision

November 10, 2018

 

Politics is popular again. Wherever you go, whatever you see, whoever you talk to - all have an opinion about the infamous Brexit. The British public is torn in two between Brexiteers and Remainers, constantly debating the value of the venerable but flawed European Union.

 

Talks of a second referendum have been the latest issue to enflame the debate. With Jeremy Corbyn confirming that his Labour party would back a second referendum and the Independent’s popular petition for a second vote on the deal, a rerun of the 2016 vote could become a reality. This does spark controversy and debate - opening up discourses about the nature of democracy, misinformation and voting on its own.

 

It is crucial that the populace is allowed to have its say. We live in a democratic country, where everybody should have an equal voice on an important decision such as Brexit. A second referendum is ideal for gaining an insight into public opinion, and is absolutely necessary for understanding whether the British public wants a Brexit or not. However, a vote has already happened. Another Brexit referendum with the same choices gives voters the wrong impression. It implies that the government wants to give us another chance to ‘get it right’, which is almost offensive. Imagine a world where the populace comfortably votes in a leader, and yet the very next day the government asks you to vote again, with the same ballot and the same candidates. It would simply be condescending. Furthermore, even if public opinion changes, the vote surely would be valid, as it would only even out the vote. A ‘tie-breaker’ would be required, which would make our formal politics seem more like a tennis match.

 

 

However, the vote that was run was not fair. By this point it is well understood that a selection of the public was conned during the Brexit campaign. The famous myth of the £350M that Britain had at its disposal was at best a manipulation of facts, and at worst a blatant lie. In the real world, Britain will still have to pay fees to the European Union even after leaving the organisation: around £40 billion of them. This, of course, excludes the massive amounts of resources that the government is spending on conducting these negotiations, which only adds more to the overall cost. Leaving the EU will also have drastic effects on the relationship that Britain have with Ireland and Scotland, creating a greater scope of tension and potential turmoil. Tariffs, meanwhile, would raise prices for both British businesses and customers on a wide array of European products. There are drastic social, economic and political impacts around the corner once Brexit happens. All this was ‘masked’ for most of the public, and this makes the case for another referendum strong. As the entire public wasn’t given an informed choice, a second referendum could be a chance for a fairer, more educated vote. In case people have forgotten, one of the most Googled questions the day before the EU vote was “What is the EU?” Just let that sink in - perhaps another vote is needed.

 

 

Brexit should not happen - it will have serious impacts on economic and political stability, which will have huge costs for the country. Another referendum, while unlikely, could potentially avert these issues. We can only hope that a second vote comes to pass.

 

 

 

 

 

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

All content © 1965-2019 InQuire Media Group.

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