Why I’m still sceptical about a second referendum

Screenshot 2019-03-29 at 16.06.34As we supposedly edge closer to leaving the European Union, there is more of a divide than ever.

No one in the House of Commons can agree on anything, Theresa May cannot gain any support and calls for a second referendum are getting louder and louder.

On Thursday there was a series of Commons votes, held on a range of different options related to Brexit. They included Margaret Beckett’s proposal of a second referendum, formally proposed as ‘holding another public vote to confirm any withdrawal agreement agreed by Parliament.’ 295 MPs voted against it, while 268 voted in favour.

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A petition to Parliament calling for a people’s vote has gone viral, with over 6 million people demanding Parliament to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. Although the Government responded by saying this will not happen and that they will “honour the result of the 2016 referendum”, the fact that such a large proportion of people showed what they wanted sends out a very powerful message.

But I didn’t sign the petition, and I most likely won’t. I didn’t go on the people’s vote march, and I haven’t campaigned for a second referendum. Despite being firmly on the side of Remain at the time of the referendum and three years later, I am sceptical about doing it all over again.

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I desperately wanted us to stay in the EU, and was truly devastated when I found out the results of the referendum. My views haven’t changed; I still want to remain. The dilemma for me is why should I not accept the result of the referendum- after all, to what extent can we argue with the result of democracy?

Three years ago, we voted on a decision and we should stick with that. I reluctantly agree with the Government, who say that Brexit ‘is the will of the people’. The only error here is the tense- it was the will of the people, but views have drastically changed since with more awareness on how Brexit could affect our economy, the cost of living and more.

Of course the general public’s view on leaving the EU is different to what it was in 2016, but we cannot keep having new referendums every time we change our mind and decide that we made a mistake- especially when we just voted three years ago.


Why the UK shouldn’t have a second referendum

Should Theresa May resign?

The worst thing about Brexit? The uncertainty


We are extremely privileged to live in a democracy, and although it may not be perfect we still have a right to vote and have our say. Overall, I think we should respect the basic principles of democracy for our democracy to work – we had a referendum, there was a majority, however marginal, to exit the EU, and that should settle it.

The people’s vote is more of a ‘demand to give the people a final say on the Brexit deal’, and that is something I can get behind. However, if it leads to having another referendum and, worse of all, another Leave-Remain situation, then I don’t know if I can support that.


 

Truthfully, how much could a people’s vote change the course of Brexit? If it’s a vote on Theresa May’s deal, then it would cause more divide and dispute amongst us. The Government has not done a good job of Brexit, but how can we help?

In January, I wrote an article about why we shouldn’t have a second referendum. Needless to say that, although my views have shaped since, it’s still hard for me to make a decision on whether I can support a people’s vote.

It is a difficult decision and stance to have, and with the UK due to have left the EU on the day of this article, we are nowhere near to that. Brexit has been and will continue to be a long, complex process, and we are no closer to finding out how we’ll end up on the other side.

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