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This is not a quote from a remainer, but from a staunch Brexit advocate Jacob Ress-Mogg. There are numerous reasons for a ‘People’s Vote’ or a confirmatory second referendum, not least the recent polling which shows more support for remain than leave. Although many remainers wish to stop Brexit all together, the vast amount of people, leave and remain voters alike, are simply not happy with the current state of Theresa May’s deal. Here are some of the key reasons a ‘People’s Vote’ is the best way forward:
It’s not undemocratic
To quote another prominent Conservative politician, ‘If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy’ (David Davis 2012). A frequently used argument by the opposing side is that remainers are betraying the peoples will, but that is simply not true. Instead we want what is best for this country and for people to have more of a say. Voters change their minds; more information is available than there was in 2016, and the full impact of Brexit is now better understood. Not to mention 2 million new voters are eligible to vote since 2016, do they not get a say? Should the snapshot of public opinion taken three years ago be the driving force behind a Brexit that will drag on for at least the next 10 years?
The current deal is bad, really bad
The 51.9% of people who voted leave did not all vote for a no-deal Brexit, and they certainly did not vote for the current deal on the table. Nobody voted for a deal that makes you poorer whilst giving the UK less autonomy. May’s deal does not deliver on any of the promises that those who voted for Brexit were offered and leaves us tied to the EU without the huge say we currently have. Parliament is a mess, no one can command a majority. Is it not time for the people to make themselves heard?
Lies, deceit and fraud
There is an often-forgotten dimension to the referendum in 2016, which is the fact it was tainted with dark money, fraud and misconduct. The Electoral Commission ruled that the Vote Leave campaign broke electoral law, and they have subsequently been fined. Just to add more fuel to the fire, the electoral commission itself was called out by the High Court for its misconduct in giving the leave campaign an unfair advantage. There have also been several reports from the government and NGOs regarding Russia’s interference in the referendum. This is without mentioning all the ‘unofficial lies’ told during the campaign. Remember that red bus that said we would get £350 million a week, which we would spend on the NHS? A blatant lie. Let us learn from our mistakes and make a second referendum a truly fair act of democracy.
This is not an article advocating remaining in the EU, but instead a call for a democratic vote to move this country forward. If Brexiteers are so sure they still have majority support, then why are they scared of a second vote? If the result still shows support for leaving the EU, on whatever terms, then that mandate can be implemented.