June 25, 2016 2 Comments
The 52:48 EU Referendum result was close – too close to be reliable and conclusive for such a momentous decision. Nigel Farage said that such a ratio should trigger a second referendum (bit.ly/28POgKP), so should accept that there is an issue about whether an almost neck and neck outcome can be ultimately determinative.
There is now increasing evidence that many who voted for Brexit feel duped by false claims from the Leave campaign including the notion of an additional £350m per week for the NHS. Others regret their vote for other reasons. The “Bregretters” could well add up to more than the 3% of voters who tipped the balance on a decision that is already having negative effects on the UK’s prosperity and wellbeing. The impact is being felt most keenly by younger voters who will be affected for more of their lives. Going ahead without certainty that the decision has clear majority support reflects poorly on our democracy.
David Cameron’s resignation speech gives 3 months before the formal exit process begins (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/brexit-won-vote-remain-eu-article-50-lisbon-treaty-referendum-david-cameron?CMP=share_btn_tw).
Most people would probably not want to rerun the campaigns by either side. They were neither very helpful in tone and content nor always entirely truthful. The debates generated more slogans and soundbites than useful information and guidance to inform our decisions. While there was an increasing sense of referendum fatigue before 23 June, we can now see what a Leave vote means without rehearsing all the arguments again and a second referendum based on the evidence we have seen already would give a democratic opportunity to confirm or revise the strength of voters’ feelings on the hugely important decision. It would be the equivalent of having a ‘cooling off’ period after signing a contract.
Brexiteers called on the UK to take back control through the UK Parliament in Westminster. The referendum result is not legally binding. Parliamentarians can reflect the will of UK voters and vote against Brexit if there is evidence that the narrow outcome of the referendum is unreliable or based on false assumptions. There are ways to avoid a catastrophic mistake for our country by stopping the implementation of a withdrawal process which might not have a credible and decisive mandate. (http://ind.pn/28UOhgU).
As my representative in the UK Parliament, I ask you to take note of the strength of feeling shown in the fast growing petition at (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215) – with almost 2 million signatures at the time of writing – and to speak up for urgent action to enable the UK to stay in the EU if that proves to be the majority view now that the outcome is better understood.