Referendum deal detail vote is needed

Brexit is stuck in Parliament, as a recent vote has shown no support for no deal and Theresa May’s deal has also now been rejected.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 9:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 9:30 am

There was a fundamental problem with the referendum in 2016: membership of the EU was a known reality, Brexit was an unspecified, undetailed proposal.

The last two years have shown that there are multiple ways of leaving the EU, but all of them have significant downsides or fail to deliver on the Brexit promises. Faced with real scenarios, the majority in favour of Brexit has disappeared.

Brexit-supporting MPs, fully aware of the dwindling support for their cherished project, are now arguing that voting again, to resolve the impasse in Parliament, would be undemocratic. How would this be so?

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Democracy is a continuous process, not a single unrepeatable vote. It is not just that we have General Elections at regular intervals, but winning them does not give a blank mandate either: any government needs to win the vote on any new bill, any new law can be revoked or amended at any time and any government can be brought down at any time by a no confidence vote.

The idea that we can settle the debate with a Brexit compromise is a mere illusion.

The no deal Brexiteers will continue campaigning until a Conservative electoral victory gives them the majority to impose it. The People’s Vote campaign is likely to continue as well, if Brexit goes ahead despite the apparent change of opinion in the country.

A referendum on a specific detailed Brexit proposal, with remaining in the EU as the alternative option, is the only way to settle this matter.

Giuseppe Enrico