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Analysis

We can stop Brexit if voters demand the final say

by Hugo Dixon | 30.01.2018

Peers probably won’t win their current battle to force a new referendum. But if public opinion shifts further, this will become an unstoppable idea.

Labour’s Andrew Adonis has proposed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, which starts its passage through the Lords today. He is calling for a referendum on the terms of any Brexit deal, including giving the public the option to stay in the EU.

The chances of the amendment passing in the Lords aren’t great; the chances of it surviving in the Commons are virtually nil. But that doesn’t make this a futile exercise. We need politicians to make the case against Brexit. Otherwise, the public won’t hear the message about why the course Theresa May is set upon is so destructive or that it’s not too late to stop this mad escapade.

Adonis, a peer, is one of the few with the courage to put his head above the parapet and say precisely this. To win, we will eventually need a huge phalanx of MPs from across the political spectrum to follow suit.

Most pro-European politicians aren’t there yet, but they are shifting in the right direction. This is partly because the public is turning against Brexit. That gives politicians cover to come out for what they know in their heart of hearts is best for the country.

Voters see just how chaotic Brexit is under our hapless prime minister. They see the endless infighting in Tory ranks. They are starting to realise that Brexit is bad for the NHS – not good, as claimed in Boris Johnson’s infamous referendum lie.

The government’s attempt to suppress its own study forecasting that Brexit will knock the economy by up to 8% over 15 years is just the latest sign that it is determined to pull the wool over people’s eyes. But voters don’t like being hoodwinked.

As new facts emerge, the electorate is warming to the idea that they should have the final say on whatever deal Theresa May negotiates. An ICM poll for the Guardian on Saturday backed by 58% to 42% the notion that the public should have the chance to “take a final decision on whether or not to leave the EU in another referendum when the outcome of the negotiations is known”.

The most common argument for pressing on with such a foolish policy is that we have to follow the so-called will of the people. But if it becomes increasingly clear that the people want the final say, they should damn well have it. What then will the Brexiters will be able to say in response?

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Edited by Luke Lythgoe

3 Responses to “We can stop Brexit if voters demand the final say”

  • Brexit is the most stupid and dangerous thing this Country has ever dreamt up, after all we are such a small Island and import a hell of a lot of everyday foods, clothes etc.
    Military co-operation with our European friends is essential in an uncertain world, we are stronger together.
    We simply cannot afford to come out. My state pension is £80 a week which is difficult to live on, not the £150 or so we are all lead to believe. I have worked all my life and never without been out of work foreven a day.
    I believe we are safer in numbers and if we leave it to the Government and have to be stupid to think they will get a good deal.
    As for the NHS, we are in trouble – nurses have gone home to their countries, doctors are moving to Australia as their pay would double. The NHS has too much Government control.
    People who voted leave had no idea what they were voting for saying ‘We want our Country back’, well were did they think the Country had gone. Elderly people who remember the war seem to think that Brexit is just run by Germany well someone should tell them it isn’t all Countries have a say.
    I mean Blimey even ‘Farage’ want’s to stay in I read today.

    #Brexit #Wrexit – think about it

  • But surely, in the light of the recent study by members of the Labour Party-Busting the Lexit myth-can any member of parliament vote for Brexit? It seems absolutely crazy and suicidal to do so. What an incredible responsibility MP’s will have if they go ahead and authorize this withdrawal from the EU.

    I can only hope that this study is being circulated to every MP in Westminster

  • Oh come on all of you and don’t be such moaners. Surely the sacrifice is worth it, if it helps the Daily Mail owners pay less tax?