If Remain isn’t on the ballot paper in a fresh referendum we must spoil it

PUBLISHED: 13:46 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:12 27 September 2018

A People's Vote demonstration taking place in central London. Photograph: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment.

A People's Vote demonstration taking place in central London. Photograph: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment.

Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Readers react on the letters pages to the suggestion a People’s Vote could be held without staying in the EU as an option.

Though a People’s Vote ballot paper with no option to Remain would be an abandonment of the democratic principle that ‘no change’ should always be an option, such a referendum could easily be called – either by our weak PM seeking to face down the ERG or by Labour (after a snap election) as a ‘compromise’.

Rather than hold our noses and vote for the deal, we should campaign for voters to spoil their ballot by writing in ‘Remain’ in large letters. Spoilt papers are reported, so a de facto three-way ballot can be forced by defining them as a vote for Remain.

Such a campaign may fall outside the normal spending rules, so if we signal our intentions clearly in advance, Leavers would be forced to either legitimise the Remain option or face having to claim victory in a referendum where the volume of spoilt papers de-legitimises the vote.

If referendums are to be advisory, let’s write in our own advice!

Tim Williams, Bournville

MORE: Nadine Dorries claims that the Irish border issue “does not exist”

“Together we can change the world,” said John McDonnell during his speech at Labour’s conference in Liverpool. So why is he reluctant to embrace the inclusiveness of the EU?

Ian Auchterlonie, Dundee

The significance of the Labour conference resolution on Brexit cannot be overstated.

Retaining recourse to a People’s Vote, including a Remain option, is a true game-changer, largely brought about by grass-roots pressure from the youngest and most fervent of Corbyn’s supporters.

For Labour to say that the most radical economic and social changes in a generation can still be achieved if we stay in the EU is a bold restating of the leader’s 2016 campaign mantra ‘Remain but Reform’.

Paul Dolan, Northwich

• Send your views for publication in The New European by sending an email to letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

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