.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, July 16, 2018

Pressure for a referendum on final deal grows

Theresa May is now fighting on two fronts over her Brexit white paper, after former education secretary, Justine Greening joined the Liberal Democrats in calling for a referendum on the final deal.

As the Guardian reports, Greening has become the most high profile Conservative to endorse the idea of a referendum, to end what she said would be a likely parliamentary deadlock over Brexit. She warned that Theresa May’s Chequers plan did not represent “a workable compromise” that a majority of MPs could get behind:

The former education secretary and remain supporter said that May’s plan was “a fudge I can’t support” and, in a blow to the prime minister, said it amounted to “the worst of both worlds” – complying with EU rules without the influence of being a member of the multi-country bloc.

Writing in the Times, the MP for Putney said that “only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians”.

She added that voters should be given three options on the ballot paper, and a first and second preference vote to ensure that the preferred model achieved more then 50% of the final vote.

The choice should be between “the PM’s final negotiated Brexit deal, staying in the EU, or a clean Brexit break and leaving with no deal”, Greening wrote in a break from her party’s position that is likely to be picked up by the campaign groups seeking to overturn Brexit with a second referendum.

Unhappiness from the Tory right over May’s proposed Brexit deal, and their threats to vote it down when a promised meaningful final vote is put to parliament around the turn of the year, have prompted growing speculation that the prime minister may struggle to ensure whatever she negotiates will be approved by parliament, placing Britain’s future relationship with Europe in limbo.

The idea that such a referendum might be settled through preferential voting on three options of course needs a bit of work. After all, if there is a deal to be voted on then why bother putting up an option of 'No deal', when the obvious alternative is to stay in the EU.

A third referendum (for that is what it will be if we count the one in 1976) should present two clear choices, a deal to leave or to stay in. And Justine Greening is right that Parliament can no longer credibly resolve this issue. A vote of all electors started this, let us finish it.
Education was merely Greening's last - and short-lived - job. She has also been a junior minister at the Treasury and the minister for Overseas Development at the FCO. So she has a wider range of political experience and responsibility than the usual media description implies.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?