Only way to stop the insanity is a People’s Vote

by Michael Emerson | 22.06.2018

Looking again, after a pause of some months, at the white cliffs of Dover through my binoculars from over here as a Brit in Belgium I see this:

  • Land Rover shifts investment to Slovakia
  • Airbus warns it may quit the UK
  • Unilever moves its HQ to Rotterdam
  • City firms begin to migrate to Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris
  • The UK’s place in Galileo, crucial for the space industry and defence security, is up in the air
  • Immigration from the EU has already greatly declined because of the ‘hostile environment’
  • Agriculture and construction sectors see labour shortages – Brits don’t like these jobs
  • The prime minister has repeated the lie over a Brexit dividend for the NHS
  • Shortages of nurses and doctors from the EU in the NHS
  • A proposed customs deal is so complex that I only recall its acronym CRAP
  • Young people massively don’t want to lose their rights in Europe
  • The foreign secretary says the Irish border problem is exaggerated
  • Talk of free trade in the Anglosphere is sunk by Donald Trump’s protectionism
  • UK economy sinks to the bottom of G7 growth ranking

“Project Fear” was the slogan invented to test patriotic courage so as to dismiss warnings. The warnings come true, thick and fast.

Demand a vote on the Brexit deal

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Is the leadership of the country insanely incompetent, irresponsible and irrational? One might think so.

But no, not entirely. It’s all very rational for Theresa May, Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox. They are so trapped in their rhetoric about taking back control and regaining freedom that, if they changed their position, their political careers would be over. And the Tory party dare not throw them out because it might let in Labour.

How to get out of this tragic farce, when neither the prime minister, Cabinet nor Parliament can rule sanely in the interests of the people? Only one way now. A People’s Vote.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

7 Responses to “Only way to stop the insanity is a People’s Vote”

  • They are all wallowing in their own rhetoric, lies and propaganda. I asked Suella Braverman, MP for Fareham, about every day practical matters such as the EU directive that allows for compensation if flights are delayed and the EHIC card. She says:
    ‘I am delighted that the UK and the EU are close to reaching an agreement that would guarantee both EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU will be able to carry on living their lives broadly as before.’
    They actually think they are on top of it all and making good progress.

    Really? More like ‘Jacjkanory’.

  • In any peoples vote, the choices will need to be fair,

    A 3-way split between Remain in EU/Negotiated deal/No deal would be bound to produce an overall majority in favour of the Brexit options, since there are 2 of them

    We need two Remain options versus two Brexit options to be balanced. Something like:

    Remain in EU on present terms
    Continue negotiations with a view to remaining in EU on improved terms
    Accept Government’s negotiated deal
    Leave with no deal

  • A people’s vote will have to be from a fully informed and coherent population with a close watch on how the game is played. It is amazing that even after endless exposures of dirty tricks, loose funding control and voter manipulation the banner headlines continue to demand respect for the will of the people. Except in our local colonies of N. Ireland and Scotland, of course. They can ‘go whistle’ as Johnson might declare.

  • @ John King,

    On the contrary, a 3 way vote for remain / accept the deal / leave with no deal would split the leave vote and pave the way for a remain win.

    The only fair way would be to use the AV system and have a vote in which people had the chance to place their first and second choice in order. The result would be decided by eliminating the option with least votes and redistributing those ballots according to the voters’ second choice.

  • To Teresa

    Leave with no deal would most likely attract fewest votes and those hard leavers would be unlikely to put remain as their second choice. The negotiated deal will win in such a scenario.

    The tabloids would also argue that people who wanted to remain as their first choice were in the minority.

    If you have an unattractive, unworkable option on the leave side, you need something equivalent on the remain side, e.g. remain and apologise to the EU.

    The size of the remain vote tends to be increased by increasing the number of remain options. For example if you had 3 choices in the direction of remain and only one for leave, remain would very likely win.

    This would not be fair however and you need two options on each side. (assuming that the Remain and Leave cases have equal merits, which is not actually so, no matter what the BBC says!)

  • To expand on my above point, if you did a quick survey of the people’s view of whether the word is round or flat , very few would say it is flat.

    But suppose now that the government launched a referendum asking the same question, = you would find many more ‘flat’ responses. Especially if the newspapers ran a campaign discrediting experts and scientists. No matter what the proposition, people flock to naturally to opposing sides, like supporters at a football match, as we saw for instance in the American presidential election – a very close run thing .

    So how could you elicit a more sensible answer from the public? You would have to offer a number of choices, such as

    1 The world is round
    2 The world is roughly like a ball
    3. The word is approximately a sphere
    4 The world is a sphere flattened at the poles
    5 The world is flat

    In this situation, the number of flat earthists comes down considerably