‘People’s vote’ or Brexit?


Theresa May
Theresa May

by Amit Roy BREXIT is like the Kashmir problem – there is no solution to it. Talk of a second referendum is getting stronger, but even if one was held, it is unlikely to bring the warring sides together. For a start, there is no guarantee that a second referendum – called a “people’s vote” in some circles – would produce a result that would allow the UK to remain a member of the European Union. But even if the vote was narrowly in favour of scrapping the result of the first referendum in 2016 – 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent in favour of leaving the EU – this would not be accepted by Brextremists. The Labour party conference is debating the compromise motion: “If we cannot get a general election, Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.” However, Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, insists a second referendum should be about the actual deal and whether the government should be sent back to conduct further negotiations. In his opinion, the people’s vote should not give people the option of reversing the result of the first referendum. He expressed fears that another referendum would reopen “all sorts of xenophobic feelings and a rise of the right”, adding “I don’t want to revive Ukip in any way or even the far-right”. To which Labour MP David Lammy responded that it would be “farcical” to have a vote without the option of remaining in the EU. “A people’s vote is the only realistic option to save this country from the car crash of Brexit. No Tory or DUP MP is likely to vote for a general election. Turkeys do not tend to vote for Christmas. We’ve now got to turn up the noise…

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