We need a strategy to win the People’s Vote – which looks increasingly likely.
Many former Brexit voters are bound to be very uneasy about the wisdom of their vote in 2016 but we must not patronise or insult them in the course of arguing for the remain option.
The truth is that the voters on both sides had very little knowledge of how the EU operates and how closely the UK is bound into it after more than 45 years membership. What they mostly did appreciate from personal experience is that increasing inequality in the UK , of class and region, has made their lives or the lives of people they know more difficult. This meant that millions of people who have been failed by the political choices our own politicians made were vulnerable to the lie that the EU was in fact responsible.
A campaign that avoids recrimination and stresses the need for radical policies to reverse inequality, austerity and regional disparities would surely be the most effective way to give Brexit voters the space to change their mind. Trying to bludgeon them would most likely cause the digging in of heels on a grand scale.
I am very much in favour of another referendum on our membership of the EU but we should make it clear in our campaigning that it would be the third referendum on this, not the second and we should call it that in all our public statements.
Those who oppose it, make much of their claim that a single vote must suffice because the people have spoken. But if that were true we should never have had the second referendum after the first one in 1975. As circumstances change and attitudes alter we obviously have the democratic right to vote again just as we do in elections. That is what is happening now as attitudes harden against Brexit and its harmful consequences.
So we are right to demand another vote at this time and we should call its result the best of three.
Professor Greg Philo
Glasgow University Media Group
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