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Monday, September 19, 2016

The case for a second referendum

It is fair to say that the Liberal Democrats' Autumn Conference has been dominated by discussion of Brexit and in particular the very clear stance of Tim Farron and the party that there should be a second referendum on the final terms of Britain's departure from the EU.

This is by no means seeking a rerun of the referendum that was lost in June, instead it is saying that the British people should have the final say on what emerges from the process they set in chain when they voted to leave.

Tim Farron sets out the case as reported in the Independent: “We trusted the British people on departure, in the referendum in June,” he said. “We should now trust them with destination.

“The deal that will be settled for the future of the United Kingdom’s relationship with Europe, freedom of movement, the single market and everything else is utterly unclear.

“You don’t know what it is, I don’t know, the British people don’t know. I doubt even Theresa May knows.

“There needs to be a referendum on that deal. That is the best option for us staying in. It is also the best option for the whole of our society gathering around whatever we do next.”

I totally support that stance. A great many people knew what they were voting against in June but there was nothing on the table as to what they were voting for. It is only right that once there is a final deal in place people are the given the choice of accepting that deal or remaining in the EU.
But isn't your thinking all the wrong way round.

The country voted to 'leave the European Union'. So we must leave the European Union. Only once we have left should we start to consider afresh all those elements of the EU that we may want to join/re-join. It could be that any final decision on what to join/re-join is determined by the outcome of another referendum (or perhaps even referenda). But this is hardly something to worry about at this juncture.

Yes, people knew what they were voting against in June. Sometime in the future you can offer them another chance to vote for something else.


This way the public will know exactly what is going on at all times.

Things are not that black and white. If it was as simple as just leaving why is there a two year negotiating period? The terms of departure are crucial to the future of this country and people should have a say in those.
There is a maximum two year negotiating period to allow time for compromise. Compromise from both sides, the EU and the state(s) intent upon leaving.

But in our case there is no need or wish for compromise, the BREXIT vote was very clear, BREXIT. We just have to work out the finances and the introduction of all EU legislative elements into UK law until such time as they are amended, repealed or struck off.

Don't be mislead by other people's spin!

ps. I voted to remain so I ma just as angry as everyone else ... but I do believe in the democratic process.
It really isn't as simple as that. There are choices to be made on the terms of Brexit and we need to give people a vote on them.
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