Letters: A fresh referendum would return another close result
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 July 2018
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I'm concerned that so far, too few Leavers seem to have changed their minds and holding a second referendum before the time is right may be counterproductive.
I suspect that right now the best that could be expected would be a mirror-image of two years ago – 52/48 for Remain. The whole issue of Brexit
would then become an ongoing, running sore.
Too many Brexit supporters want to be ‘free’ of the EU regardless of cost and have a blind faith in that we will strike lucrative new trade deals. They believe the lie of “how easy it will all be”.
I regret to say that I think it will take a multinational corporation like Nissan or Airbus to actually move to mainland Europe for the message to sink in and become reality.
Discussion about a second referendum prompted me to look at the situation surrounding the last one.
The House of Lords Constitution Committee, in its report on referendums in 2010, gave us fair warning of what could go wrong: “There are significant drawbacks to the use of referendums. In particular, we regret the ad hoc manner in which referendums have been used, often as a tactical device, by the government of the day ... We recognise that because of the sovereignty of parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore advisory.”
And, presciently, “we are concerned about the effectiveness of the regulation of information provision in UK referendums. We commend the model provided by the 1992-3 electoral reform referendums in New Zealand when an independent body provided information and ran the public education process”.
Bexhill on Sea
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