Brexit is the word on everyone’s lips right now.
Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, the process of leaving has been dominating the news. Two-and-a-half years later and many people are having second thoughts, and are calling for a second referendum on the issue.
I am greatly in favour of remaining in the European Union, and I don’t think we should have left in the first place. However, despite wanting to Remain I don’t think we should have a second referendum, however much I would want a second chance.
My simple answer to why this is the case is one word- democracy. It is hard to admit, but holding a second referendum would defeat the point of democracy and having that opportunity to vote, ruling out any reason of having the original referendum in the first place.
Having a second referendum is ultimately admitting we want to change a democratic vote. Even though many people want to have one and are against the original decision, over 17 million people voted Leave in 2016. 1.3 million more people were in favour of leaving the EU, and to hold a second referendum would defeat the point of having the first one.
One of the main arguments for having a second referendum is that people didn’t know what they were voting for in 2016, with the Leave campaign being (correctly) accused of lying and falsely advertising their campaign. This is a point I agree with, as I believed they did lie about facts such as the extra £350 million a week for the NHS.
However, I don’t feel like we can go backwards on the decision, as it would ultimately cause even more political turmoil in Parliament and among the people. The original Brexit vote caused enough division, dispute and tension among the British people, and I can only imagine how bad it would be if we did it all over again.
What we do know is that if we had a second referendum, we would surely vote to remain. A YouGov survey from January 2019 showed that if a second referendum was immediately held, 46% of people would vote to remain in the EU, in contrast to 39% voting to leave. To put it bluntly, a second referendum would almost definitely keep us in the EU, and reverse the decision made two-and-a-half years ago.
“The original Brexit vote caused enough division, dispute and tension among the British people, and I can only imagine how bad it would be if we did it all over again.”
One of the main problems with having a second referendum is the divide on what the question itself would be. Would it be to call for a People’s Vote to decide whether we are for or against Theresa May’s Brexit Deal? Or would it be the not so simple question we had two-and-a-half years ago- Remain or Leave?
Whatever the outcome on a new referendum, it is bound to be a controversial decision. The UK faces a huge year ahead with Brexit, and holding an entire new vote could be the breaking point in the saga.