Why we need a referendum

Published on February 21, 2019

Active Remainers – like me – are often told that we ‘never accepted the (2016) Referendum result,’ as though this were a defect, a sin, even a crime.

Should we be concerned?

Well, first of all, it depends what’s actually being alleged of us. ‘Never accepted the Referendum result’ … as what, exactly?

As the numerical outcome of the vote? Well in that sense, yes, obviously, we do accept it.

As the outpouring of frustration, anger at being neglected, at feeling marginalised or even silenced? Yes, certainly.

As the seizing by many of an apparently rare opportunity to make known their feelings? Well, apparently, yes.


As an informed view of where lay the real causes of that neglect and marginalisation? No, not for a second.

As an informed judgement on the actual impact upon their lives of European Union policy, legislation, regulation and investment?

No, not at all.

As the ‘will of the people,’ given a 52 : 48 majority? Absolutely not.

As a decision legally binding upon Parliament? No.

As the way to do politics in a representative parliamentary democracy? Not if Parliament accepts its proper responsibilities.

Or as a once-for-all ‘decision’ that – unlike virtually every other decision in law, politics or daily life – can never be revisited or reconsidered? That would be ‘No,’ Prime Minister.

A Referendum that should never have been called ought to be set aside by a second.

Bring it on.

Help us put Europe on the political agenda before the general election