This week, Nigel Farage raised the possibility of a second EU referendum when he said a narrow victory for “Remain” on 23rd June would leave “unfinished business.”
He is not the first politician to imply that a second referendum might follow the initial vote. Former Conservative leader Michael Howard claimed in February that we may hold a follow-up referendum, while Boris Johnson was reported to be in favour of a “double referendum strategy”—something he later denied.
A second referendum could happen for two reasons, it is thought. One argument runs that Britain could vote to leave on 23rd June and this would send the EU into a panic. It would try to persuade us to remain in the European Union and would offer us “improved” terms, which would need to be voted on. The second scenario is a narrow win for “Remain,” which would mean anti-EU sentiment lingering post-referendum—leading to a second vote at some point in the future.
Is a second referendum feasible? Or do their proponents misunderstand how the EU operates? A panel of experts including Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, offer their views.