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The first referendum on EU membership was held in 1975 and Remain won by 67-33%.
The second referendum on EU membership was held in 2016 and Leave won by 52-48% on the basis that they were promised they could "have their cake and eat it" and that negotiating new and advantageous trade terms with the EU would be "the easiest deal in history".
We now have the reality of "May's deal" which almost no one seems to want. It is even more unpopular than "no deal" and both, combined, are now less popular than Remain.
So the argument for a third referendum is that the people need to decide do they want May's deal, No deal, or Remain. There is no Brexit which matches the expectations raised by the second referendum, and Parliament cannot decide what to do next.
The argument against a third referendum is that the people decided to Leave, and if Parliament can't agree on May's deal then No deal is the default (and correct) outcome.
But no one told voters in 2016 (or 2017) that that would be the form Brexit would take. No government actually has a mandate for that outcome. So either a general election or a third referendum (or both) is required to break the impasse.
Index of Frank's Diaries
A referendum would be based on updated information about the Brexit reality, but it's not obvious that the updated information is any more accurate, or the voters more involved or educated, than they were last time around. There would be tremendous squealing if Remain won this time around. I'm not sure about the point of a referendum, either.
Seems to me that the best approach would be a vote on all three of the major and realistic options, Brexit vs May vs Remain. That goes against a few hundred years of voting tradition, though.
My money is on delay, delay, and hope the problem is solved by being overtaken by some other catastrophe. Which seems fairly likely given the US versus the world thing that is also going on. But the delay strategy depends on the EU allowing it...
There is also the argument that allowing the status quo to continue for another few months - with European elections in June, older voters dying off, younger voters joining the rolls, and generally getting everyone bored with the whole Brexit thing could allow the status quo to persist almost indefinitely.
"Kicking the can down the road" has a long and honoured tradition in politics of postponing difficult decisions, allowing general apathy to sink in, and allowing for some quiet deal making behind the scenes for taking some of the bitterness and sting out of the situation - much to the frustration of partisans on both sides.
So if the EC wants to let everyone off the hook, they could "graciously accede" to a UK government request for an A.50 extension, even if there is as yet no clear resolution of the issue. The unanimity requirement could become problematic, however, if some EU Members start asking the question "what are we getting for our forbearance in this matter?"
If unanimous agreement is not forthcoming, the UK government could threaten to revoke A.50, only to invoke it again once they have decided on a clear course of action - in line with the ECJ ruling. That would really piss everyone off, although not much could be done about it. I suspect the EU would then simply move onto the next order of business, and leave the UK to ruminate or smoulder on their options on their own.
Any attempts by the UK to re-open negotiations would be resisted, and it would become simply a case of "take it [May's deal] or leave it, we have other fish to fry". The UK's standing in the EU, and the world, would plummet, but most people in the UK would be oblivious to that. Eventually the political impasse in the UK would resolve itself, one way or another, and a decision would be made to a great yawn of indifference elsewhere. Sometimes it is best for politics to become boring for a whle.
Index of Frank's Diaries
Internal and inward investment has ceased, which means that we are stagnating economically. Brexit has sucked all the oxygen out of domestic politics to the extent that NOTHING is being done and everything is decaying.
We've had 30 months of this, I'm not sure how much longer we can keep this going.
keep to the Fen Causeway
She speaks, again, to simultaneously
reject the EU offer to extend "the negotiating period" (the "NO-BREXIT" option)
elect "her deal" (the EU-UK WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT option),
surrogates (watch word of the month) flog
the "NO No-Deal" vote by parliament forthcoming.
EU Council will regret this appeasement. I told you (pl.) to let it go. ubn warned.
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
If unanimous agreement is not forthcoming, the UK government could threaten to revoke A.50, only to invoke it again once they have decided on a clear course of action
Do we really think any PM would do this, given what it'll have done to the previous ones?
That would really piss everyone off, although not much could be done about it.
Additionally, would it not trigger the EU to change the Article 50 rules to prevent that sort of gyration?
But the A50 process was designed to be hard as a deterrent to prevent the Greeks from escaping the clutches of the ECB.
keep to the Fen Causeway
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