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EU Referendum 2.0

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What should we do about the EU?
Revoke Article 50, stay exactly where we are, and try to forget the whole sorry clusterfuck ever happened.
66%
 66%  [ 6 ]
Stay, but undertake a "root and branch" review of any and all aspects of our membership to address the concerns of a number of our citizens
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Leave, but only with a clear mandate from another referendum, and with a clearly defined plan to deal with all the issues.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 9

crissdee
1306671.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:06 am Reply with quote

Unlike the last one, anyone can vote in this one. UK citizens, EU citizens, Ex-pats, Johnny Foreigner, super-intelligent shades of blue, anyone.

 
GuyBarry
1306678.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:54 am Reply with quote

So your three options are:

- Ignore the 2016 referendum

- Ignore the 2016 referendum, but hold a review

- Ignore the 2016 referendum, but hold another one

I voted "Remain". I did not vote "ignore this vote if it's inconvenient".

 
suze
1306690.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:26 pm Reply with quote

Although you knew as you voted that the government reserved the right to do precisely that. We were told any number of times that the referendum was advisory rather than binding.

If Mr Cameron had said "Thanks population, but you gave the wrong answer and I'm not going to do it" he would have been in breach of a manifesto commitment. But that would not have been a new experience for him, and he would in no way have broken the law. The Westminster government has never chosen to ignore the result of an advisory referendum, but it has happened at local government level (the district councils in Northumberland were abolished and replaced by a unitary authority, even though a referendum voted to keep them), and it has happened in other countries (more than once in New Zealand, for instance).

The Act enabling the EU referendum to happen could have been written such that the result was binding on the government, but it wasn't. The Act which enabled the rather pointless referendum on the Alternative Vote system was so written, and the government was bound to proceed with that system had the referendum mandated it.

Given that the same could have been done for the EU referendum, why wasn't it done? The only possible answer can be that the government deliberately chose to reserve the right to ignore the answer. It did not choose to exercise that right, but for some reason felt that it must have it.

 
GuyBarry
1306693.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:46 pm Reply with quote

I wrote:
I voted "Remain". I did not vote "ignore this vote if it's inconvenient".


suze wrote:
Although you knew as you voted that the government reserved the right to do precisely that. We were told any number of times that the referendum was advisory rather than binding.


So why should I bother coming out to vote next time the Government holds a referendum on anything?

 
suze
1306695.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:56 pm Reply with quote

You may well ask.

I suppose the government's answer would be that abiding by the result of the referendum was a manifesto commitment and therefore would happen, but it is hardly unknown for manifesto commitments to be ditched if they become inconvenient.

I do not know why the enabling Act was worded such that the referendum was not binding. That is a question you would have to ask Mr Cameron.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1306697.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:00 pm Reply with quote

B, and that is coming from a committed European.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
GuyBarry
1306699.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:07 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

I suppose the government's answer would be that abiding by the result of the referendum was a manifesto commitment and therefore would happen, but it is hardly unknown for manifesto commitments to be ditched if they become inconvenient.


To the best of my knowledge, there is not one single MP who supports overturning the result of the 2016 referendum without a further vote.

When you look at all the bewildering variety of different opinions held by the various factions in Parliament, isn't it telling that this is the only course of action that appears to be supported by no one whatsoever?

 
suze
1306700.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:19 pm Reply with quote

It may be, but that wasn't the question you asked.

We're much too far down the road to do it now. But if you'd put the question to every Conservative MP the day after the referendum, you'd have found a handful who would (if not bound by cabinet responsibility, in some cases) have advocated ignoring the referendum result.

The question you did ask was why the government gave itself the power to ignore the result when it needn't have done. That I cannot answer.

 
GuyBarry
1306712.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:03 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

The question you did ask was why the government gave itself the power to ignore the result when it needn't have done.


No, that was the question you asked in post 1306690. The question I asked was "why should I bother coming out to vote next time the Government holds a referendum on anything?"

If governments are going to hold referendums and then not abide by the result, there is no point in voting in them. If I'd thought that the Government was going to ignore the result of the 2016 referendum and say "sod that, we're staying in the EU anyway", I'd have stayed at home.

You need to give people an incentive to come out and vote. If the 2016 referendum had been organized in the way you suggest then the result would have been an overwhelming vote for Leave.

 
crissdee
1306721.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:52 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
So your three options are:
- Ignore the 2016 referendum
- Ignore the 2016 referendum, but hold a review
- Ignore the 2016 referendum, but hold another one.


From my oft-reiterated apolitical standpoint, they seemed like the best options for getting out of this mess. I wasn't suggesting ignoring the last result, just accepting that we are not currently in a position to competently deliver on it, and consider that it may be time to stick a metaphorical peg in it and try to construct a workable way forward.

Interesting that there have been five votes, but only four people posting.

 
suze
1306733.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:53 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
If governments are going to hold referendums and then not abide by the result, there is no point in voting in them. If I'd thought that the Government was going to ignore the result of the 2016 referendum and say "sod that, we're staying in the EU anyway", I'd have stayed at home.


That's a perfectly reasonable position to take, and there is some evidence of reduced turnouts in Northumberland and New Zealand since those referendum results were ignored. But the people in power have never felt it necessary to apologise for that ignoring, and have not made new laws such that they can't ever do it again.

I don't think anyone really expected that Mr Cameron was going to choose to ignore the referendum result, much as he would not have been acting ultra vires if he had. But if he had no intention of doing it, why did he give himself the power to do it?

GuyBarry wrote:
If the 2016 referendum had been organized in the way you suggest then the result would have been an overwhelming vote for Leave.


Surely not. If there had been a widespread belief that Mr Cameron was going to ignore the result if it were the "wrong one", then yes.

That belief did exist, and Farage did hint at it once or twice - but it was not widespread. Much as he didn't have to, practically everyone believed that Mr Cameron would abide by the result. Everything that the government has said and done since is based on the premise that it "has to respect the will of the people", even though it didn't actually have to.

 
Leith
1306734.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:57 pm Reply with quote

There's no way we could revoke Article 50 without a further referendum*.

The government asked the public its opinion. Now that they find they can't interpret the answer becuase the didn't ask the question properly, they can't just put public opinon back in its box and carry on regardless. The only democratic way forward is to ask the public if it could answer again and be a bit more specific this time.

- If public opinon backs remain against the other credible options, this is the only legitimate way that a remain policy could come about.
- If the public support May's deal, this is the only obvious way to get parliament to back it.
- If the public actually want a no deal Brexit, this is the only way to find out for sure.

None of the other options currently doing the rounds yet have the necessary agreements in place to show that they are credible, and unless that changes, a vote for them would be little better than the incoherent fantasy that the current result represents.

The threat to a democratic outcome lies with those in parliament who actually want a no deal. As it stands, they don't have to secure anyone's agreement to anything. All they have to do is obstruct and undermine any alternative course of action until they've run the clock down, and there may be just enough of them to do that.

* Not permanently anyway. Ken Clarke did suggest a temporary revocation, with a firm commitment to resume the process as soon as we've actually got an agreed course of action. While that's theoretically pragmatic and could just about be argued as compatible with the 2016 result, I can't see it being at all popular.

 
'yorz
1306736.  Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:02 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
Interesting that there have been five votes, but only four people posting.

Sorry - I'm the 5th and voted for option 2.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1306742.  Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:29 am Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
Interesting that there have been five votes, but only four people posting.

There may well be people posting who havenít voted. In fact I can (now) categorically state that this is the case. :-)

 
GuyBarry
1306746.  Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:50 am Reply with quote

I haven't voted either, because none of the options represents the course of action I would like to take, namely "Support the Withdrawal Agreement".

 

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