This whole topic has come from the referendum that we held over two years ago. However, in this post I don’t want to talk about just that referendum, but whether we should have another referendum, a second referendum to decide whether the general public still want to leave the European Union.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a referendum is defined as: ‘a vote in which all the people in a country or an area are asked to give their opinion about or decide an important political or social question’.
On Thursday 23 June, 2016 the UK public voted on whether to remain or stay in the EU (the European Union). The result was 51.9% to 48.1%, in favour of leaving. Ever since we voted to leave there have been many people campaigning for a second referendum.
My belief is that we should have a second referendum. I think we should have a second vote for the simple reason of it just shows the British people’s opinions, and if we have one and it turns out we still want to leave, so be it, that is the public’s decision.
First of all, I think we should have a second referendum because it shows a more informed, accurate and realistic public opinion and
During the Brexit campaign, there was a lot of bias, downright lies and politicains from both sides making outlandish claims which they had no evidence behind. This was on both sides, and did not give the public an accurate picture of what advantages and disadvantages of leaving or remaining in the European Union. For example, on the side of the leave campaign bus the claim, ‘that leaving would provide a £350m-a-week bonus for the NHS from the UK’s contribution to EU coffers.' was written. There is no solid evidence for this claim and it could have influenced people to vote to leave, especially considering the stress the National Health Service was and still is under. A £350 million pound bonus every week given to the NHS would have be great and incredibly useful but there is seemingly no evidence of this absurd and unlikely claim. Another (of many) examples in, is when Alan Johnson said ‘Two thirds of British jobs in manufacturing are dependent on demand from Europe’, a figure, according to the independent ‘based on outdated data by the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The consultancy has since revised the figures: it says the figure is more likely to be around 17 per cent’. These are only two of many examples I could have mentioned. These claims, which were simply inaccurate could and must of influenced the results of the referendum, if people had accurate information many, maybe even enough to actually give a remain outcome may well change what they voted whether in favour of remain or leave. It wasn’t even normal members of the public or small politicians making these claims, these were influential people with influential campaigns that reached a vast number of the public and so I think those who made these claims need to be held accountable and take responsibilties for them.
The thing is our opinions are based on the facts we learn, what we think will likely happen in the future and what we want to happen in the future. All of our opinions stem from facts, we make opinions on subjects because of what we know about it and that is why before I make a big decision I want to know a the whole, accurate picture; if I’m going to get a pet I want to know what they eat, how hard they are to take care of, what they are typically like, if they are prone to illness or aggressiveness, I want to know all the facts in order to reach a sensible, good conclusion. In relation to the Brexit vote, back in 2016, it was crucial that in order to make the right decision for their situation, people needed to know all the facts, all the correct information: how it would affect them, what it is going to cost, what they are going to gain, what they might lose etc. However this wasn’t the case, instead, people were given a clouded, inaccurate view of the situation, many might have been misled by some outrageous claim or found a huge gap in their knowledge, meaning their opinion, since over the past two years the difficulty, realities and technicalities of leaving Brexit have truly been exposed, may well have changed now they actually have the accurate and reliable information, now they have the full picture.
Because of how awfully wrong and inaccurate the campaigns were, I believe that parliament should create a new referendum and a new, more truthfull campaign should be launched now that people have actually seen more into the realities or leaving/ staying, and this time, the spreading of false information, especially on some of the large scales that they were should be banned and punished, so that the UK public can vote with an accurate picture of what leaving, and remaining really means.
Secondly, many people didn’t vote, many people's voicew were not heard. In fact, according to the independent, ‘Just less than 28% of registered Brits did not vote in the June EU referendum -- that is about 13 million people.’ Many people may say that those who didnt vote were lazy and should have voted in the first place and maybe they are right. However, many, seeing the extremes leaving could result in may vote and exercise their right to democracy. Considering that leave only won by a margin of 1,269,501 votes, which is, if you consider the whole population, a very small margin, enough people this time could vote this time to change the outcome. Also, considering the amount of new voters that have turned over 18 in the past two years that is again, a considerable amount of people who didn’t, and couldn’t vote, who can now have their voices heard in a second referendum, and the generation that is going to have to deal with the outcome for the rest of their lives.
Also, although I recognise that the UK public voting on everything is impractical because of time and expenses (after all that’s why we elect MPs, to make decisions on behalf of us), I think on such a huge decision like Brexit the public should be able to decide what happens. Even though we did decide to leave 2 years ago, we should be given the opportunity to reconsider our decision, with all this new information and so really take control of the future of our country.
Theresa may said in a speech in Stoke-on-Trent ‘We all have a duty to implement the result of the referendum.’, and that, in the Brexit campaigns ‘both sides disagreed on many things, but on one thing they were united: what the British people decided, the politicians would implement.’ Indeed, the public were allowed to decide before, relying on politicians to deliver what they decided, expecting them to deliver on their promises. The fact is, the politicians have not delivered on their promises and leaving the EU is not going smoothly at all. They are so focused on delivering the result of the referendum we decided on two years ago, and they are not succeeding. They are saying that they are respecting our views and honouring and implementing our decisions, which is not happening. Surely if we had the right to decide two years ago, why don’t we now?
So, in conclusion I think we have a second referendum because it shows a more informed and representative public opinion and that now we see the realities and difficulties of leaving the EU, the outcome might change. At the moment politicians are saying what they think we want and making decisions for us, surely on such an important issue, we have the right to decide? To be fully transparent, I think we should remain in the EU, and so I accept my opinion on a second referendum might be bias. However, if we DID have a second referendum and the outcome is the same: to leave, I think that shows the real, recent, knowledgeable and empowered decision of the British public and so if that is their decision, then that’s what needs to be implemented. If we had another referendum and we decided to leave again, then so be it, that’s what we should do, but at the moment, I think there is a fair possibility that the decision might change. We want to make sure that what happens, whether leaving or remaining is what the majority of the public wants. For MPs to implement what we 'want' they need to know what we realy want, not an outdated, innacurate, no knowledgeable, not representable version of what we wanted. Maybe just this time we should be given more of a choice, a wider opinion than just to leave or remain...